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URA, PSFU resolve to increase awareness about EFRIS

In a bid to ease the collection of taxes, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and city traders resolved to increase awareness campaigns about the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS).

The decision follows multiple URA’s meetings with city traders under the umbrella bodies of the Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA), Uganda Cargo Consolidators, and Kampala Rice Traders. Early this week, traders closed their shops and businesses as part of the demonstrations over what they called unfair enforcement of EFRIS. Many traders had re-opened their businesses yesterday.

EFRIS is a system that monitors the payment of value-added tax (VAT) and provides a platform for businesses to accurately keep records of their transactions.

Since its launch in 2022, there has been an increase in the uptake of the technology following the acquisition of electronic fiscal devices by various businesses and the establishment of mobile applications and desk-top programmes to facilitate the collection of VAT. EFRIS was first rolled out to manufacturers and later to supermarkets.

John Musinguzi, the commissioner general of URA, noted that the meeting resolved to encourage dialogue and engagement by all stakeholders and implore all the estimated members of the business community not to take on approaches that are disruptive to business.

He noted that URA will continue engaging in tax education to simplify the messaging with respect to the new technology of EFRIS and open an office in Kibuubo to offer business support services, including the adoption of new technologies like EFRIS, helping taxpayers file their returns, and any other tax-related matters.

“There will be a business support centre that is really operating very close to the taxpayers. So that if there are any gaps, either in knowing the technology, filing their returns, or shifting and managing change in the new environment, they have a service closer otherwise,” he said.

“We express our readiness to continue reviewing any operational concerns around the enforcement of EFRIS and encourage the business community to reciprocate this by demonstrating voluntary compliance or readiness to change and adopt new technologies,” he said.

“We acknowledge the several and protracted engagements between URA, the ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development, and traders trying to resolve these issues amicably,” Sarah Kagingo, the deputy chairperson of the Board of the Private Sector Foundation (PSFU), said.

She said PSFU, which represents more than 330 business associations and corporate bodies, is committed to advocating for a conducive environment for the growth of businesses.

“We recognise the evolving landscape of tax administration in Uganda. While these initiatives are aimed at enhancing transparency, combating tax leakages, and modernising the tax collection processes, there is a need to foster collective buy-in,” she said.

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