Meera Investments Wants Finance Minister To Suspend Tax Amendment Bills 2020 Over Coronavirus

Meera Investments through their lawyers have Kampala Associated Advocates have written to Finance Minister, Matia Kasajia objecting some of the proposed amendments in the Tax Amendment bills-2020 which is before a committee of parliament.

According to Eagle Online, Meera Investments which is the top taxpayer for the rental category in their letter to the minister said the bill will have an adverse effect on many businesses given that the entire world will be resurrected from the effects of Coronavirus.

Government has introduced the Tax Amendment Bills 2020 and now before parliament with the hope of filling that taxation gaps in the budget. However, the bill is facing resistance from real estate developers and owners given the proposals contained in the bill.

“During the current lockdown, we were made aware of the tabling of the 2020 Tax Amendment Bills. We have had consultations with our tax lawyers, Kampala Associated Advocates, and we write to inform you that some of the bills will have an adverse effect on many of our businesses and we seek your indulgence to prevent adversity. Below are the amendments that we humbly propose you further scrutinize and change based on areas of speciality” reads part of the letter from KAA.

The proposed amendment is that an “owner of more than one commercial building shall account for the tax on each building separately and shall not claim input of incomplete buildings.

However, Meera Investments says many of them in the real estate industry run their businesses through companies and therefore, one company will have may be five to fifty buildings. Under the proposed amendment, it would mean that for each of the fifty buildings one must account for the tax separately. This creates the following complications:

“It would mean that if I have ten acres on plot 41 Kampala Road and on them I have ten buildings, I have to account for each building separately. This means that I must now demarcate between buildings one to ten and each must have its own tax identification number (TIN). The reason that each must have its own TIN is because I must account for the tax separately.

The effect of this is that at the end of the day, I shall have one company with ten to fifty TIN numbers. Worse still, this also means that I shall have one company with ten to fifty different invoices for the same project. This makes accounting difficult and will create confusion among the real estate companies. The company would also have to obtain various tax clearance certificates for each of the buildings. This would be outrageous because one company would have over 50 tax clearance certificates”.

SSOURCE: Eagle Online (click for full story)

Parliament Wants Deputy Governor Job Quickly Filled After Kasekende Departure

The minister of Finance Matia Kasaijja has been summoned to appear before Parliament Thursday next week to explain when they have not appointed a new deputy governor of Bank of Uganda.

The Speaker issued the directive on Thursday in response to a complaint raised by MP Michael Mawanda (Igara East) who said that work at the central bank has been paralysed since the office of the deputy governor has not been filled ever since Dr. Louis Kasekende left after the expiry of his contract.

“The office of Deputy Governor, Bank of Uganda has been quite vacant for quite some time and he is the vice chairperson of the board. This is a strategic institution and I fear we may face some challenges if a position isn’t filled in the shortest time. As you know, I have been processing a bill and I asked some information but nobody was committal to answer questions,” Mawanda told Parliament.

In response, Speaker of Parliament Rebeca Kadaga said, the Minister of Finance should come and brief Parliament on which the position will be filled.

“The Minister of Finance should come and update us about the deputy governor despite resolutions to separate the management board positions, they haven’t happened but they are still bound in the old law. The minister for finance should come back next week and brief the house.”

Former Bank of Uganda deputy governor Louis Kasekende contract expired recently and President Yoweri Museveni refused to renew his contract. Kasekende is one of the top former officials of Bank of Uganda who contributed to fraudulent sale of seven commercial banks.

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