Busia Traders Decry Increased Income Tax by URA

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More than 400 traders have abandoned their businesses along Busia Customs Road over increased income tax by the Uganda Revenue Authority- URA.

The traders are compelled to pay between 50,000 and 150,000 Shillings in income tax depending on the type of business. The traders were also told to pay income tax for the last financial year which they defaulted.

Suleiman Benzula, the chairman of Busia customs traders association says that over 400 members have abandoned their businesses because of the charges imposed on them by URA. He says that the increment could trigger protests among the affected traders, saying they are overtaxed.

Benzula who is selling first-hand clothes says that he was paying income tax of 150,000 shillings but the tax body is currently charging him 370,000 Shillings every financial year.

According to Benzula, traders can’t afford the high taxes because their businesses were affected by the lockdown. He adds that the situation has not normalized since most of their major clients from Kenya are no longer coming to buy goods.

Zam Muzamiru, a trader selling cosmetics says she was forced to close her business after she was told to pay 350,000 Shillings instead of the 150,000 Shillings she used to pay. She appealed to the government to revise the charges.

She says that they should have been sensitized before increasing the taxes.

Thomas Wabwire, who operates an internet cafe, says that he contemplating closing the business. Wabwire says that he has been paying 80,000 Shillings per year but was surprised when URA imposed on him an income tax of 138,000 Shillings.

Christine Namulanda, who was selling bed sheets and mattress covers, says that she deserted the business at Busia customs due to accumulating debts and the increase of income tax by the tax body.

Hassan Bwire Opio, the Busia Town Mayor admitted that the taxes are high. He adds that some traders can’t afford the rates since they were affected by the lockdown. He however says that he has scheduled a meeting between the traders and officials from URA on the matter.