By Andante Okanya
The Commercial Court in Kampala has been petitioned to issue a pronouncement to the effect that all employment income of Members of Parliament (MPs) is liable to Pay as You Earn (PAYE) tax.
On Tuesday, a one Francis Byamugisha, claiming to be a whistle blower, filed a civil suit, alleging that non- taxation of MPs income has resulted in a deficit in the national coffers.
“The plaintiff shall further aver that the defendants have as a result of their failure to pay and/or collect income taxes, caused serious financial loss to the people of Uganda, including the plaintiff himself,” Byamugisha states.
Government chief legal advisor the Attorney General (AG), the Parliamentary Commission, and tax collector Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), are listed as defendants.
Through Tumusiime, Kabega, and Company Advocates, Byamugisha claims that PAYE has not been collected from MPs since 1997. He says the defendants breached their statutory duties.
Uganda has 378 MPs, with each earning about sh20m monthly. Byamugisha asserts that the MPs receive income in form of basic pay, subsistence allowances, travelling allowances, sitting allowances, sitting allowances for committee sessions, motor vehicle allowances, car purchase allowances, and grants.
Byamugisha asserts Section 116 of the Income Tax Act prescribes that the Parliamentary Commission must withhold income tax from employment income of MPs and remit it to URA.
He states that Sections 4, 6, and 19 of the Income Tax Act empowers URA to collect income tax from MPs.
He is demanding for 5% of all the money due as income tax from MPs, saying it is his entitlement as a whistle blower.
The defendants are yet to respond to the claims. A hearing date is yet to be scheduled.