By Ronald Kalema,Daniel Gantungo Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The Government of Uganda has tabled the tax bills for the financial year 2020-2021 in accordance with the timelines set by the Public Finance Act of 2015. The bills include proposed amendments to the Income Tax, Value Added Tax, Stamp Duty and Excise Duty Acts.

It appears that the proposals tabled were crafted, agreed and discussed by the Government before the rapidly unfolding COVID- 19 pandemic came to light, as they mainly address existing revenue loopholes and impose tax increments on most items produced by the manufacturing sector in the country.

Unlike some other countries in Africa (led by Kenya and South Africa), the bills do not contain any specific measures to address the likely economic fallout from the COVID 19 pandemic either in the short term or in the long term. 

Instead, some proposals, like the  imposing of withholding tax on agricultural supplies and the requirement for persons in real estate businesses to account for VAT and rental tax separately for each commercial property, have been reintroduced for a fresh run before the legislators having been defeated in the previous two financial years.

The income tax proposals also seem to be more focused on the real estate sector, for example, proposing a 0.5% withholding tax on sale of land that is not a business asset, a transaction that is currently exempt from tax.

We have highlighted and analysed this, and the other proposed tax measures, here.