Taxpayers body rejects new taxes, plans demo

Passenger Service Vans in Kampala. The government is planning to re-introduce an annual licence by July this year following the Traffic and Road Safety Act Amendment Bill 2021. PHOTO/EDGAR R. BATTE

Taxpayers under an umbrella body, National Taxpayers Protection Organisation, have planned a demonstration to express their dissatisfaction with proposed taxes.

The body wants Parliament to throw out the proposed taxes that they say are oppressive, inappropriate and ill-timed.

In a letter to the Inspector General of Police, the taxpayers state that demonstration will take place on April 29 in Kampala.

Mr Joseph Kasibante, the president of the body, told Daily Monitor that the taxes will worsen the state of the economy and welfare of the people who have already been battered by the Covid-19 pandemic induced measures.

On April 1, Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija tabled before Parliament, a raft  of tax Bills that would take effect on July 1, if approved by the House.

Mr Kasaija said government is looking for ways to increase revenue and intends to collect Shs21.6 trillion in the 2021/2022 financial year, up from Shs19.6 trillion in this financial year.

The taxes include a 12 per cent levy on Internet bundles, an annual road licence fee of Shs200,000 for car owners and Shs50,000 for motor cycle owners under the Traffic and Road Safety Amendment Bill 2021 and an increase of rental income  tax from 20 per cent to 30 per cent.

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Reduce government expenditure

“We know government cannot function without taxes, but as businesses and consumers, these are not appropriate and neither is the time. People have not been working and any attempt to subject them to excessive taxes is unfair and will affect their wellbeing,” Mr Kasibante said. 

“MPs do not pay income tax on their allowances, they exempted themselves. Let them also sacrifice. Nurses and teachers, who earn peanuts, are paying tax.  Instead of getting a car of  Shs300m, let them reduce. These are ways of offsetting this budget,” he said.

He added: “I have not read anywhere about any country that has raised taxes. Instead the governments are injecting money as start-up capital to jumpstart the businesses that are already slumbering. You cannot tax a businesses which is not working. ”

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Mr John Ken Lukyamuzi, a lawyer and one of the organisers of the demonstration, said: “Government gave tax amnesty to a number of companies, amounting to Shs809 billion without sound explanation. That money should have been used by government to offset the existing demand of Shs400 billion to avoid imposition of unreasonable taxes on citizens…the taxes should be quashed.”


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