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Which goods does Uganda Revenue Authority exempt from taxation?

Wednesday, 27th April, 2011

Since the economic situation started biting hard with the value of money declining and buying fewer items, many have been forced to adjust their budgets while others have decided to take to the streets in protest. Others have demanded for government to cut taxes and exempt some goods from taxes but it is important to understand what tax exemptions are and how they arise.

Tax exemptions are provided for under section 21 of the Income Tax Act, the Value Added Tax Act and the East African Customs Management Act (EACMA).

According to the VAT Act, a supply of goods or services is exempt if it is specified in the second schedule of the same Act.

A taxable supply is a supply of goods or services, other than an exempt supply, made by a taxable person for consideration as part of his or her business activities.

For a supply to be considered taxable, it must not be listed among the exempt supplies listed in the Second Schedule of the VAT Act. This taxable supply has to be made by a taxable person who is supplying to get a consideration (make a profit from it).

The VAT Act (Section 20) defines an exempt import if the goods being imported are exempt from customs duty as stated in the Fifth Schedule of the 2004 East African Community Customs Management Act or would be exempt had they been supplied in Uganda.

The list of exempt supplies under the second schedule of the VAT Act is on the URA website ( under the Tax Laws. Some of the exempted supplies include unprocessed foodstuffs, unprocessed agricultural products, postage stamps, supply of financial services, supply of insurance services, unimproved land, education services and supply of social welfare services amongst others.

The other supplies that are exempt include lifejackets, lifesaving gear, headgear and speed governors.

Under the Income Tax Act, there are many incomes that are exempt from tax like income of a listed institution (first schedule of the Act), income of any organization or entitled to privilege under the Diplomatic privileges Act to the extent provided in the regulations and orders made under that Act and income of any local authority amongst others.

In the Fifth Schedule of the 2004 East African Community Customs Management Act (EACCMA), there are a number of items which are exempt from tax like goods for use by Presidents of the partner states, all goods including materials, supplies, equipment, machinery and motor vehicles for the official use of partner states’ armed forces.

The other items exempted from tax under the EACCMA are goods and equipment for use in aid funded projects, one motor vehicle and spare parts for each rally driver amongst many other beneficiaries.

Peter Kaujju
Public & Corporate Affairs, URA

Comments for Which goods does Uganda Revenue Authority exempt from taxation?

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Jul 02, 2015
buiding material and home equipments
by: Anonymous

Dear ura ...Am inquiring to knw if I buy my wooden doors(12),locks inclusive for my personal house and other households but in single pieces like fridge,home theatre,flat screen40",microwave and a washing machine.would they be taxed or exempted due to the fact that they r for home use but not business.hoping to get them from Dubai and will be delighted for a quick response

May 26, 2015
Tax exemption on vehicals for expats
by: Anonymous


I am expat residing in Uganda for one year now. Me and my wife work for a development agency and were wondering if we could bring our motorbike from Europe. We already have a red number plate car and would like to if this could apply for the motorbike too. I would like to use the bike for my work up-country.

Additionally, I would like to know what is the tax structure for importation of vehicles and which of the duties/taxes are exempted for expats.

Mar 26, 2015
by: muhumuza bernard

i would like to inquire whether agricultural machinery like egg incubators are taxed and if so what is the tax levied upon it when am importing it from an east african country like kenya.

Mar 24, 2015
vat excemption
by: Anonymous

i work with an insurance company ,and i insured a UN car,but they refused to pay Vat that they are vat exempted.

Mar 06, 2015
Taxe charged
by: Samuel Makanga


I need to have a list of all import goods and their respective taxes charged.

Feb 09, 2015
Returning student
by: Anonymous

I am a student on scholarship and will soon return home after my studies. i have a television set and some kitchen utensils i have been using during my stay here. I urgently would like to know the regulations governing my one-piece personal stuff and taxation.

I will be grateful,and though I remain anonymous am following the page.

hope to get a feedback soon. thanks

Jan 27, 2015
Medicinal supplements
by: Anonymous

Kindly would like to know if medicinal supplements are taxable and breakdown of their cost.
Can revert to

Dec 29, 2014
Vat exempted imported goods
by: Tonny

Hello URA
I would like to get a list of imported goods that are exempted from VAT as read in the budget of 2014/15 I need clarity
Thank you
Please reply on

Nov 07, 2014
taxation of accomodation
by: Anonymous

is accomodation outside kampala like kanungu taxed?

Nov 07, 2014
by: Joy

Hello URA
are energy companies exempt from value added tax?
if so, which law provides for that exemption.


Aug 27, 2014
by: Anonymous

On mon 25/08/014 URA at 7;45am announced on Capital radio that agricultural in puts and animal feeds,poultry are exempted from VAT as read in the budget of 2014/15 but why is it not out in the news papers since not every one was tuned on that station!?
I need clarity


Jun 24, 2014
Tax Policies
by: Musawo K

As of the 2014/2015 Budget, all Agro machinery will be VAT taxable. So if you wanna import tractors, mills, ploughs etc you will be taxed.

Any donations (equipment, materials etc) to a non-profit (aka NGO) that is FULLY REGISTERED AND RECOGINZED AS A NGO in Uganda are tax free items. However, the bureaucracy of some of these customs agents (whether it's due to ignorance or just stubbornness) will insist that you pay taxes. So get an aggressive attorney in Uganda (I use CR Amanya Advocates in Kampala)( to help you fight for your tax rights.

May 31, 2014
import duty
by: Duncan Ssekajigo

are imported agricultural tools and machinery exempt from import duty in uganda. thanks e-mail:

May 01, 2014
Jeep Cherokee PCM Engine Computer
by: Moses

Would you tax me when I import the engine computer for my car?

Apr 06, 2014
Tractor import
by: b Moses

I would like to know wether Agricultural tractors imported are taxed or not and if taxed whats the formulea used? You can replay to:

Apr 06, 2014
Tractor import
by: b Moses

I would like to know wether Agricultural tractors imported are taxed or not and if taxed whats the formulea used? You can replay to:

Feb 24, 2014
by: Ajoseph

I want to know if sma infant formulas milk whether its taxable or not

Dec 02, 2013
by: Anonymous


I would like to start a business for LED LIGHT in Uganda, and would love to know if these type of light are VAT exempted like in Rwanda.

Thank you for replying me at

Best regards.

Sep 23, 2013
Tax exemption
by: Isaac

Am working with an NGO and am trying to fundraise from foreign funders. I would like to know whether the support from abroad are taxed or are tax free?
Please advise me. It is urgent.
Thank you.

You can reply me on

Aug 05, 2013
by: Arnold

Hullo Revenue
Am Arnold i want to know am an entrepreneur who imports medical equipment of quality from abroad i want to know if importation of medical Equipments are exempted from paying taxes.Looking Forward to a quick response.You can Email me on ""

Apr 25, 2013
by: Musoke Hassan

Hello,we need the 2 rules of non taxable revenues.

Apr 23, 2013
Importing clean cookstoves for a school
by: Anonymous

Hi -

We are a US base NGO wanting to supply institutional sized clean cookstoves to a school in Uganda. Will we have to pay custom fees and a VAT on that shipment? If so, how is it calculated?


Apr 09, 2013
Advise on VAT exemption for Educational Institutions
by: Kirabo Joseph

Dear URA,

Recently Makerere University bought a Digital Printing machine and the supplier quoted a price VAT inclusive.

The supplier advised us that in case we needed not to pay for VAT we are required to produce a VAT exemption certificate.

Please advise us on how we can get one.

You can reply me on


Looking forward to your quick response.



Mar 20, 2012
educative and international
by: senyonga kasimu

thank you very much i have got what i wanted

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