By Job Bwire
THE Kabula County Member of Parliament, James Kakooza has dragged Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to court in Kampala for allegedly taxing his gratuity funds.
Kakooza who is also the former Primary Health Care minister has filed a law suit in the High Court that sits at Twed towers in Kampala against the tax body, claiming payment of sh60m being unlawful deduction of Pay as You Earn (PAYE) from his parliamentary gratuity funds by URA.
In the civil suit filed on August 29, this year, Kakooza through his lawyers, Birungi Barata Associates also seeks general damages for inconveniences of his loss allegedly caused by the authority (URA).
Kakooza contends that as a member of parliament, he is entitled to a monthly payment of sh780, 000 which is deposited on his Crane Bank account. However, according to him, URA illegally taxed the money by 30 %, which is equivalent to sh234, 000.
He further contends that gratuity of this nature is not subject to income tax but URA has continued to deduct tax from his gratuity for all the time he has been a member of parliament.
Court documents indicate that Kakooza has been receiving sh780, 000 as gratuity since September 2011.
However, URA has not yet filed its response and the case is yet to be fixed for hearing in the High court.
Meanwhile, early this year, Kakooza was granted permission to proceed with the case where legislators in the 9th Parliament were demanding instant access to their gratuity, as and when they desire it.
Civil division registrar at the High Court, Eudes Keitirima, in March this year endorsed Kakooza’s move after hearing submissions from his lawyer Carol Kintu.
Keitirima ordered that announcements must be placed in the two English daily newspapers to relay information on the MPs.