Protest Over Tax: Uganda Sees One-Day Sales Strike

Protest Over Tax: Uganda Sees One-Day Sales Strike
AFPCopyright: AFP Traders fear the new system will simply push up taxes (file photo)

Protest Over Tax: Uganda Sees One-Day Sales Strike

The closure of businesses in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, as a protest against enforcing the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing System (EFRIS) highlights the significant concerns and challenges traders face regarding implementing this tax invoicing system.

Many business owners fear that the new system will increase the complexity of their operations and lead to higher tax burdens, particularly for small-scale traders who may struggle to afford the required software. Additionally, there are concerns about the cost associated with acquiring and maintaining the necessary technology for compliance with EFRIS.

The EFRIS, launched by Uganda’s tax agency in January 2021, aims to track sales and taxes in real-time to combat tax evasion and improve tax compliance. While the intentions behind the system are to enhance transparency and accountability in tax reporting, its enforcement among small-scale traders has sparked widespread protests and discontent.

Despite the concerns raised by traders, Uganda’s Revenue Authority has proceeded with implementing EFRIS, arguing that it will ultimately streamline tax administration processes and facilitate more accurate reporting and filing of tax returns.

The protests and demonstrations underscore the need for constructive dialogue between authorities and stakeholders to address traders’ legitimate concerns while ensuring effective tax administration and compliance. Finding a balance between tax enforcement measures and the practical realities faced by businesses, especially small-scale traders, will be crucial in achieving the objectives of the EFRIS system without unduly burdening the business community.

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