EIGHTY percent of under-declared imports belong to Chinese, James Kisale, the Uganda Revenue Authorityâ€™s (URA) acting assistant commissioner for enforcement, has said.
â€œThey have got used to our system and exploit the loopholes to evade taxes. The system is not weak but people take advantage of the loopholes.â€
Kisale said the increased under-declaration of imports by investors, especially foreigners, would cause a revenue shortfall of about sh1.6b annually if not stopped.
â€œThey try to maximise profits at the expense of the local investors because they get credit facilities and are also exempted from import and excise duties,â€ he said.
Paul Kyeyune, the public and corporate affairs commissioner, said a Chinese firm called East African Textile Industries had under-declared textiles.
â€œThis firm is registered here. It brought in bedsheets but declared that they were importing materials used for manufacturing,â€ Kyeyune said.
â€œActing on our informers, we went and checked the goods and found that out of 206 bales, 112 bales were fully finished bedsheets.â€
Kisaale said: â€œThe investors paid only sh8.7m Value Added Tax. On verification, we found that sh82m was evaded.â€
He said they had preferred charges against the investors who would have to pay sh122m including penalties.
Chinese top tax evaders, says URA