‘Tax Collectors’ Vs Real Tax Payers

Food for thought, when was the last time you checked that the taxes withheld from you in-lieu of income tax were actually submitted by the ‘corporate tax collector’? It might be worthwhile to do the checking.

I know a friend of a friend of a friend who discovered that a certain ‘corporate tax collector’ who has been collecting withholding tax from their not-for-profit organisation had never submitted it to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) of if they did, they did so without clearly informing URA who the tax payer is, i.e. the non-for-profit organisation.

You can’t imagine that the ‘corporate tax collector’, considered of good repute, was engaged in foolery – generating phony tax credit certificates, which they gave to the not-for-profit as evidence that the ‘corporate tax collector’ had delivered the taxes it withheld from the non-for-profit to URA.

The hassle to the friend of a friend of a friend to get the ‘corporate tax collector’ to properly declare the withholding tax to URA, according the friend of a friend of friend, was shocking, especially when officers of the cheating ‘corporate tax collector’ were there being sanctimonious and giving ridiculous excuses that they did not credit the tax payer because they did not have the tax identification number (TIN) of the not-for-profit.

Liars! The ‘corporate tax collector’ had the TIN of the not-for-profit and if they did not, they could have obtained it from URA and even easier from the non-for-profit.

For clarity, you are a ‘corporate tax collector’ if you collect:

  • Value added tax (VAT) from those you supply products and services and the person from whom you collect VAT is the tax payer.
  • Excise duty on goods and services and the person from whom you collect the excise duty from is the tax payer.
  • Withholding tax in-lieu of income tax, the person from whom you have withheld the tax is the tax payer.

A ‘corporate tax collector’ is a cheat if it:

  • Collects taxes (VAT, excise, withholding, and others) and does not submit the taxes to URA at all.
  • Collects taxes, including now social media tax and mobile money tax and does not submit the taxes to URA in a timely manner.
  • Collects withholding tax and does not credit the taxpayer from whom they withheld the tax.

One is thinking that if all those ‘corporate tax collectors’ were submitting our taxes to URA in a timely and transparent manner it is possible that we would not need these other funny, funny taxes that gundi has now imposed.

That is where the focus of URA needs to be – doing audits of all those who claim the status ‘corporate tax collector’ are they really declaring and submitting to URA the taxes that we pay to them and moreover in a timely manner?

Photo: Taken from a moving four-wheel drive car as we drove past. A man seemingly carrying mwenge bigere (a local brew made from bananas) which traditionally was stored and served in gourds and now being packed in seemingly re-used plastic bottles.


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