Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga@RebeccaKadagaUG#BudgetUg2020#PlenaryUg Before we commence the Budget Presentation, I would like on a sad note to inform the House about three events in the last four days, namely: the death of President Pierre Nkurunziza, the death of Amb. Onyanga Aparr & the death of Gen. Kasirye Gwanga.
President Yoweri Museveni has said the commissioners who recently resigned from Uganda Revenue Authority were actually sacked because of corruption.
Museveni, who was speaking after the 2020/21 budget reading, said he had now cleaned the corruption problem at URA. Referring to the commissioners as a crowd, Museveni said these commissioners were stealing instead of serving their people.
“There has been a lot of corruption in URA. That one I have cleaned. That one I have cleaned as we shall clean some of other places. Wherever there is corruption, we shall get you like we cleared the URA crowd. We’re begging, begging as if they are doing us a favour instead of working for their country. Those young people who were given a great opportunity to serve their country, they were busy doing other things. So we have dispersed them, that URA crowd.” said Museveni.
The officials who resigned last month at URA are Dicksons Kateshumbwa, the head of domestic taxes, Henry Saka, from domestic taxes, Silajji Kanyesigye, the commissioner in the large taxpayer’s office and Samuel Kahima, a manager in charge of rulings and interpretations.
Matia Kasaija,Uganda’s Finance Minister passed Shillings 45.5 trillion 2020/2021 financial year budget speech on Thursday to Parliament. The budget is under the theme ‘Stimulating the Economy to Safeguard Livelihoods, Jobs, Businesses and Industrial Recovery”.
Kasaija announced the postponement of taxes worth 129.4 billion as a short term emergency relief measure to businesses affected by coronavirus pandemic.
The taxes postponed include corporate income tax, Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and presumptive tax, which are paid by smaller businesses in the informal sector.
The suspension of taxes is a huge move for businesses in the informal sector and some smaller businesses in the formal sector – many of whom are at the edge of collapse due to coronavirus measures.
Kasaija said the postponement of tax payment taxes will help boost the cash-flows for the business and ensure business continuity.
Meanwhile, Kasaija said the number of tax payers benefiting from the presumptive tax measure is 23,000 and the deferred tax is estimated to be Shillings 1.4 billion.
Parliament also learnt of that the deadline for payment Pay As You Earn Tax had been pushed to September 2020 from 1st April 2020 to 30th June 2020 for tax compliant Ugandan businesses facing hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“No interest will accumulate on tax due during this period. An estimated Shillings 65.4 billion due from Pay As You Earn (PAYE) for manufacturing and tourism sectors is being deferred. For floriculture sector, the expected PAYE deferral is Shillings 0.237 billion,” he said.
Government also waived interest and penalties on tax arrears accumulated before 1st July 2020 to lessen the tax liability of businesses who voluntarily comply with their tax obligations. Kasaija said that this tax relief as a result is Shillings 50 billion.
To further support the businesses, Kasaija announced a whopping 1.4 trillion shillings kitty that will go into Uganda Development Bank. This will be for businesses to run to and borrow at below market rates given by commercial banks. The Minister also said that government will provide for tax deduction on donations to coronavirus response task-force.