Uganda Traders Urged to Cooperate with Government on Electronic Invoicing System

Uganda's Chamber of Commerce calls for dialogue to resolve EFRIS dispute, as traders protest the new digital tax system, citing concerns over double taxation and high compliance costs. The government aims to improve tax compliance, but addressing traders' concerns is crucial for a smooth transition.

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Israel Ojoko
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Uganda Traders Urged to Cooperate with Government on Electronic Invoicing System

Uganda Traders Urged to Cooperate with Government on Electronic Invoicing System

The Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI) has called for cooperation between traders and the government to implement the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS).

The digital system, introduced by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), aims to streamline and regulate the issuance of invoices and receipts through electronic means, enhancing transparency, accountability, and tax compliance.

However, the implementation of EFRIS has faced resistance from traders, particularly in downtown Kampala, who have been protesting against the system. They claim it amounts to double taxation of Value Added Tax (VAT) and have expressed concerns about the high cost of compliance, lack of understanding of the system, and its application to all traders regardless of VAT registration.

URA Commissioner General John Musinguzi has clarified that VAT is an indirect tax paid at every stage of value addition, with the ultimate burden falling on final consumers, not traders. He has encouraged traders to adopt EFRIS, highlighting benefits such as improved bookkeeping and sales monitoring. MP Abdul Katuntu has also remarked that technological advancement is here to stay, and the focus should be on resolving any operational concerns through dialogue between URA and traders.

Why this matters: The successful implementation of EFRIS has the potential to significantly improve tax compliance and revenue collection in Uganda. However, addressing the concerns and challenges faced by traders is essential to ensure a smooth transition and widespread adoption of the system.

The UNCCI has emphasized the need for collaboration between government agencies, business associations, professionals, and taxpayers to cultivate a culture of transparency and education. The chamber has offered to mediate discussions between traders and the government to facilitate a constructive dialogue and find a solution that benefits all parties.

"The recent action by traders was nonviolent, unlike previous mass actions that were considered riots," the UNCCI noted, acknowledging the traders' concerns while urging for a resolution through dialogue.

Key Takeaways

  • UNCCI calls for dialogue to resolve EFRIS dispute between traders and government.
  • Traders protest EFRIS, citing double taxation, high compliance costs, and lack of understanding.
  • URA clarifies EFRIS aims to enhance transparency, accountability, and tax compliance.
  • Successful EFRIS implementation can improve tax revenue, but addressing trader concerns is crucial.
  • UNCCI offers to mediate discussions and facilitate a constructive dialogue to find a solution.