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Uganda Government New Tax Propositions for Financial Year 2016/2017

Finance minister Matia Kasaija has proposed a cocktail of taxes in the post-election budget.

The minister wants to amend the Excise Duty Act 2014 to increase taxes on all types of cigarettes, ready-to-drink spirits, cement, motor spirit (gasoline), gas oil (automotive, light, amber for high speed engine), cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose in solid form, motor vehicle lubricants, confectioneries (chewing gum, sweets and chocolates).

Explaining what is called "minimal tax increases" the ministry spokesperson, Mr Jim Mugunga, said: "this is not about political honeymoon ending, it's about Uganda working on its tax collection inefficiencies so that we all pay a fair share of our obligation to national revenue."

In the Finance (Amendments) Bill, 2016, Mr Kasaija also proposes to increase the rate of the environmental levy imposed on used clothing, used shoes and other used articles from 15 per cent to 20 per cent of the Cost, Insurance Freight (CFI) value. However, Mr Julius Kapwepwe Mishambi, a director at Uganda Debt Network (UDN) and other analysts, have asked government to boost the citizens household incomes to enable them purchase brand new cotton products.

"Starting the journey out of mivumba (second-hand outfits), is a welcome move but should be phased over seven years and demonstrated through investment in value chain of the cotton and animal husbandry sub-sectors," Mr Kapwepwe said.

Taxes will be charged on the importation of un-denatured alcohol, lubricants, steel and steel products, electronics, including fridges, washing machines, radios, DVD Players and television sets, paper and paper products and diapers. The minister has proposed that these items be removed from the COMESA waiver.

The minister, however, wants to remove excise duty on specialized hospital furniture and international incoming calls and waived Value Added Tax (VAT) on agricultural processing machinery. There is also a plan under the Finance Amendments Bill, to waive arrears of tax accruing from SACCOs and also exempt clinics from income tax but not drug shops.

New Taxes

Soft cap Shs50,000 per 1,000 sticks (cigarettes)

Hinge lid Shs80, 000 per 1,000 sticks (cigarettes)

Cigars, cheroots and cigarillos containing tobacco 200 per cent

Smoking tobacco 200%

Homogenised or reconstituted tobacco 200%

Ready to drink spirits 80%

Cement Shs1,000 per 50kgs

Motor spirit (gasoline) Shs 1,100 per litre

Gas oil (automotive, light, amber for high speed engine) Shs780/- per litre"

Cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose in solid form Shs100 per kg

Motor vehicle lubricants 10%

Confectioneries (chewing gum, sweets and chocolates) 20 per cent

Increase the rate of the environmental levy charged on used clothing, used shoes and other used articles 15 to 20%

From the Monitor Newspaper

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