Protests Erupt Across Uganda Over New Tax Assessment Solution

Widespread protests in Uganda against new e-invoicing tax system, disrupting businesses and daily life. Highlights challenges of implementing tax reforms without addressing stakeholder concerns.

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Salman Akhtar
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Protests Erupt Across Uganda Over New Tax Assessment Solution

Protests Erupt Across Uganda Over New Tax Assessment Solution

Thousands of Ugandans have taken to the streets in protest against the Uganda Revenue Authority's (URA) new Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS). The EFRIS system, which requires VAT registered taxpayers to issue e-invoices and e-receipts, has been met with widespread opposition from business owners and traders, close, shops alike.

In Kamuli, over 2,000 people participated in demonstrations against the new tax assessments. Similar protests were reported in Mubende and Mpigi, where traders expressed their discontent with the URA's implementation of EFRIS. The unrest has also led to the closure of numerous shops in Kampala's business district and other areas outside the capital.

The introduction of EFRIS has not only sparked protests but has also resulted in disruptions to daily life across the country. In Jinja, plans are underway to evict traders, while mechanics have warned about potential issues with vehicle inspections. The arrest of elderly Muslim leaders in Kabalagala and the disruption of water supply at a school in Kalungu further highlight the far-reaching consequences of the tax assessment solution.

Why this matters:The widespread protests against EFRIS highlight the significant impact that tax policies can have on the lives of citizens and the economy as a whole. The unrest in Uganda serves as a reminder of the importance of implementing tax reforms in a manner that takes into account the concerns and needs of all stakeholders.

Despite the URA's certification of EFRIS software integrators and the system's intended benefits, the mixed reactions and protests demonstrate the challenges associated with introducing new tax assessment solutions. In the ongoing situation, it remains to be seen how the Ugandan government and the URA will address the concerns raised by protesters and work towards finding a resolution that balances the need for effective tax collection with the interests of the business community and the general public.

Key Takeaways

  • Thousands of Ugandans protest new e-invoicing tax system (EFRIS) by URA
  • Protests lead to shop closures in Kamuli, Mubende, Mpigi, and Kampala
  • EFRIS disrupts daily life, with plans to evict traders and issues with vehicle inspections
  • Protests highlight impact of tax policies on citizens and the economy
  • Challenges in implementing new tax assessment solutions, resolution remains uncertain