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Sunday,August 09,2020 11:47 AM

Ssebutinde untaxed payment explained

By Vision Reporter

Added 7th November 2002 03:00 AM

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) probe commission secretary Geoffrey Kiryabwire has said it was the tax body should explain why Justice Julia Ssebutinde’s sh9m pay is not taxed

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) probe commission secretary Geoffrey Kiryabwire has said it was the tax body should explain why Justice Julia Ssebutinde’s sh9m pay is not taxed

By John Eremu and Alfred Wasike

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) probe commission secretary Geoffrey Kiryabwire has said it was the tax body should explain why Justice Julia Ssebutinde’s sh9m pay is not taxed.

Ssebutinde chairs the judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of corruption in URA.

The Monitor yesterday said Ssebutinde pockets her official untaxed salary of sh4.8m and sh9m for chairing the commission.

Kiryabwire, however, said Ssebutinde had not resigned from the bench and the inquiry was an additional responsibility.

“For instance, our commission cannot conduct proceedings without the chairperson. It means the appointing authority wanted a judge to be present at all the proceedings,” Kiryabwire said.

Justice David Porter, who heads the commission of inquiry into the alleged plunder of Congo resources, however, said his honourarium is taxed because he had left the bench. “My honourarium is taxed. I am not a sitting judge, so I don’t get paid as one,” he said.

However, The Monitor quoted the Acting Solicitor General, B. Kainamura, as saying Ssebutinde’s honourarium was not part of her salary and should have been taxed. Judges’ salaries are not taxable.

But Kiryabwire said it was the tax authority to explain any anomalies as far as the taxation of their earnings were concerned. He said his salary and that for of commissioners James Kahooza and Fawn Coussens were taxed.

“To us, our funding comes net of taxes. All our funds come from URA and all of us pay taxes except the chairperson. So the best person to ask is URA because they should have taxed the money at the source,” he added.

URA spokesman Chris Kaweesa and the deputy commissioner - revenue, Justin Zaake, declined to comment on whether honouraria to all sitting judges were exempt from tax. They referred The New Vision to the commissioner general, Aslund Annebrit, who was reported in a meeting.

The director for economic affairs in finance ministry, Keith Muhakanizi, said the URA was just being used as a channel to finance the commission. He said the Government wrote to the British Department for International Development to fund the commission because the ministry did not have the money.

Meanwhile the Ssebutinde Commission has concluded hearings and started writing its report, expected by the the end of the year.

Ssebutinde untaxed payment explained

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