Kampala Landlords Demand For Tax Waivers, Tax Holiday

Commercial buildings commonly known as arcades have been closed since the country was put under lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic COURTESY PHOTO Commercial buildings commonly known as arcades have been closed since the country was put under lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic

The Managing Director of Crane Management Services, the leading real estate company and landlord in Kampala, Rajiv Ruparelia, has reechoed the most pressing need of his colleagues the landlords by demanding tax waivers from government and tax holidays from Uganda Revenue Authority as the country emerges to stand on its feet from the guillotines of COVID-19 pandemic.

Rajiv while speaking at a press conference to announce key Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) Crane Management Services has put in place at all its properties to avert the spread of the coronavirus asked special considerations were government can write off taxes for companies most hit by COVID-19 including landlords.

“We are one big family. A building is useless without tenants. However, tenants can’t operate without a building. So, we are like a marriage and this marriage is very intimate. But unfortunately, the government has not given any waivers to this industry,” Rajiv noted with dismay.

“If you look at it, URA has only deferred their payments. They have not said that this year we are going to give special considerations where we are going to write off taxes for companies. If you look at NSSF, they have not given any conditions where companies can reduce the liabilities to pay NSSF,” he said.

“All they are saying is that if you’re not going to pay in February or March pay in August. But that is not solving a problem as an economy or for landlords. Now even the Central Bank has given some ease to the commercial banks and but does not tell the banks that we have given some special liquidity in order to be able to subsidize the interest that you will face because landlords cannot pay the banks. You see, when the tenant pays the landlord, the landlord takes the money and pays the bank.”

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