New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: URA Deactivates 4,000 Vat Accounts

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has deactivated Value Added Tax (VAT) accounts for 4,763 companies, associations and individuals. The deactivated/deregistered entities include local and international organisations, district local governments, law firms, academic and religious institutions.

According to Sarah Banage, URA's assistant commissioner of public and corporate affairs, the move to deactivate the companies was aimed at saving the tax body's resources.

"It also helps URA to identify clients who are tax compliant to enable us focus and plan, as well as free the register," she said in a statement.

Banage added that before deactivation, the non-compliant companies were facing a penalty of sh200,000 per month.

She explained that de-registration means deactivating a company from the VAT register and that circumstances that can lead to de-registration may include; when the company can no longer make a required annual turnover of sh50m, when the company has ceased to trade in taxable supplies and when the company has ceased to trade (liquidated).

Banage said de-registration from VAT can be initiated by the taxpayers themselves by filling in the DT-1016 manual form or initiated by URA where circumstances deem it necessary for deactivation. She said there was no penalty against deactivated companies but the tax payer is only required to clear off the outstanding obligations if any before de-registration is completed.

On whether a company can re-register, Banage said this can happen by filling in the reactivation form DT-1016 available on the URA web portal under manual forms and submitting it to the authority for processing.

Banage said VAT registration requirements include; annual turnover of above sh50m, dealing in taxable supplies, fixed place of aboard and proper record keeping. For government bodies, Banage said they are treated just like any other VAT-registered entities as long as they are carrying out business which ordinarily would make them accountable for VAT.

She also revealed that de-registration is not for a specific period.

"When the tax payer fails to meet the criteria to be on the VAT register, they are de-registered," Banage said.

She added that the law currently requires a tax payer who voluntarily applied for VAT to stay on the register for a period of not less than two years before they can apply for de-registration.

Alternatively, she said, URA can initiate de-registration for the taxpayer who is not required for VAT if the tax payer has not submitted regular and reliable returns; has not kept proper records, or has no fixed place of abode.

ACCOUNTS DEACTIVATED:

Law firms

Byamugisha, Kanduho and Company Advocates; Byenkya, Kihika and Company Advocates; Katutsi and Lamunu Advocates; Kawanga and Kasule Advocates; Mugaaju, Mwebembezi and Company Advocates; Mugerwa and Masembe Advocates; Muwanguzi and Company Advocates, Muwema and Mugerwa Advocates and Solicitors; Tashobya, Byarugaba and Company Advocates.

Local governments

Kasese, Kibaale, Gomba, Alebtong, Kakiri in Wakiso district as well as Kawempe and Nakawa divisions in Kampala also had their VAT registration deactivated.

Institutions

African Bible University, Butabika School of Psychiatric Nursing, Cavendish University Uganda Limited, Crane Hill SS, Datamine Technical Business School, Ddembe Driving School, Gayaza Junior School, St. Augustine's College Wakiso, St. Catherine Kawanda PS, Uganda Martyrs SS Namugongo, Kawanda SS, Mulago Paramedical Schools, Kyambogo College School, Kiwoko SS, Kyaddondo SS, Makerere Business Institute, Makerere College School, Makerere University Building Unit, Mariam High School, Migadde College and Christ the King Academy.

Other organisations

SN Brussels, Church of Uganda Kumi Diocese, Habitat for Humanity International, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Luwero Industries, Maganjo Grain Millers Mukwano Sweets and Confectionaries and National Council for Higher Education.

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