FLART GILBERT: Why SMEs need to embrace Taxation

Over the years, tax is and has always been the biggest source of income for the Government of Uganda. With this background, the government has therefore instituted various measures in order to collect as enough tax revenue as possible.

Among the recent measures is the introduction and enforcement of EFRIS (New Vision of Nov 1st) and Digital Tax stamps and also emphasis on Voluntary Disclosures. These measures are all intended to increase compliance as well as expand the tax base. 

Most often many businesses in Uganda have faced challenges with the tax authority over the years. Some businesses do not keep proper books of accounts while others are not aware of the tax filing systems 

SMEs realize when the taxes and interests have accumulated. At this stage, it is really terrible for SMEs to get out of these intricate tax burdens. You find a business that registered for VAT but has never filed any single monthly return. Try asking them. The answer is that they have not been making money. I wonder how making money and filing tax returns is related?

The question now remains, “Why can’t SME’s set things right from the word go?”. 

Many people are starting new businesses and opening new companies, this is always the best time to engage a tax consultant as you formalize your business. 

A businessman should be guided about the different types of taxes the business is registered for and how to handle such taxes.

I encourage SMEs to get everything right and learn how to utilize the services of a tax consultant.

The author is CPA Flart Gilbert, a Financial Controller at Home Harvest (U) Ltd
and a Tax Consultant 

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