By Spy Uganda
Rural Broadcasters Association (RUBA) has petitioned the office of Speaker of Parliament Rt Hon Anita Among protesting the advance payment of Value Added Tax (VAT).
The whole issue is about mandatory real-time e-invoicing and receipt reporting – the electronic fiscal receipting and invoicing system (EPRIS) that was introduced by URA in 2021.
Julius Tumusiime Chairman of the Association says although they embraced this system, it has terrible effects on their cash flow specifically when Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) demands that they remit VAT immediately after the issue of the invoice electronically and later penalties are imposed on members due to delayed payments, which they say is not proper because payment is not yet received.
”Whereas this is a good system which we appreciate and gladly embraced as on our part it has greatly helped us to streamline our invoice processing, approving, tracking and chasing invoices and human errors and on the side of URA it helps to reduce the cost of compliance through improved record keeping among taxpayers and mitigates tax administration shortfalls, the system is not without other challenges which have adversely affected our cash flows specifically; Uganda Revenue Authority demands that we remit VAT immediately after the
issue of the invoice electronically and later penalties are imposed on members due to delayed payments, which is not proper because payment is not yet received,” says Tumusiime adding;
”The nature of business in Uganda especially media houses is that payments are made after approval of work done, the credit period is normally between 2 to 3 months after the issue of the invoice.”
It is against this background that the Association requested the government to consider and support the private sector as companies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
They requested URA to allow Companies/Media houses to pay tax when payments are fully done like is done with government businesses.
”The credit /grace period should be extended to 3 months before interests and penalties are charged,” says the petitioners adding,” URA should provide for flexibility with regard to invoicing and issuance of a credit note.”
RUBA (Rural Broadcasters Association) is a duly registered association of upcountry media owners and Broadcasters all over Uganda with a membership of over 180 radio stations, online news platforms, newspapers and televisions of the roughly 280 licensed entities. The Association came together to promote members’ mutual interest in community broadcasting in their geographic areas of operation, and business growth and address industry challenge as a single voice.
The Association directly employs over 3000 people and as an industry, it partners with the Government by playing a critical role in Information dissemination, Education, Communication & Entertainment.