AS Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) continues in the quest to widen the tax base, it has met with real estate dealers.
The two-hour meeting at Fairway Hotel in Kampala and attended by over 200 people, wasorganized by the Association of Real Estate Agents of Uganda (AREA).
Area was founded on April 23, 2008 as a company limited by guarantee with a board of trustees.Area is an umbrella body of real estate agents and managers, real estate professionals and other organizations with interest in the real estate sector.
The meeting's objectives were to appreciate the contribution of the real sector to economic development, explaining taxes that apply to the real estate sector including implications of thecurrent tax policy changes in Financial Year 2015/16.
Others were identifying opportunities for the real estate sector in Uganda and to discuss mechanisms of collaboration to promote compliance and enhance domestic revenue mobilization.URA Commissioner General Doris Akol, who presided over the meeting, disclosed that real estate activities generated sh3.12 Trillion, representing 4.57% of Ugandas GDP in FY 2013/14 and UGX. 269Bn representing 3.72% of total revenues.
With these contributions and high growth rates recorded over the years, real estate activities form a large part of our tax-base and as such the revenue potential from this category cannot be underrated, Akol stated.
Whereas that contribution is commendable, the sector remains largely informal and non-compliant compared to the quality of service desired to facilitate their business environment, Akol said. She appealed to AREA members to increase their contribution to national development.
To ease compliance, Akol added, taxpayers have been segmented into large, medium, small and micro in order to meet their unique needs. Others are annual awards for excellent SMEs during the URA taxpayer appreciation days and payment of taxes in installments in case of financial constraints.
Assistant Commissioner Service Management, Jolly Kaguhangire educated participants about the taxes they have to pay. These are Income Tax (Corporation, Capital Gains, Individual Income Tax, Pay As You Earn, Withholding Tax and Rental Tax), Value Added Tax and non tax revenues (stamp duty, motor vehicle fees, driving permit fees).
Kaguhangire additionally informed AREA members about the presumptive tax regime to enable small businesses with a turnover of below sh50m comply with tax obligations. Under this, taxes are levied depending on nature of business and location.
AREA president, Andrew Mukiibi said the association comprises over 200 members. The engagement, he added, enabled members to know the taxes they have to comply with. He was optimistic that it was the beginning of further collaboration between URA and AREA. Herbert Ssempogo, Public and Corporate Affairs