Wednesday,August 12,2020 09:24 AM


By Vision Reporter

Added 7th August 2006 03:00 AM

MTN retained its position as the leading taxpayer in Uganda in 2005/06, according to a list of the top 1,000 taxpayers the New Vision has seen.

MTN retained its position as the leading taxpayer in Uganda in 2005/06, according to a list of the top 1,000 taxpayers the New Vision has seen.

Uganda Breweries-70,055,233,294;
Nile Breweries-49,593,222,491;
Bat Uganda-45,407,569,783;
Century Bottling Co-43,737,951,033;
Tororo Cement-35,258,707,394;
Stanbic Bank-33,206,283,732;
Uganda Telecom-30,632,184,771;
Kakira Sugar Works-29,019,600,430;
Petro Uganda-28,047,625,929;
Hima Cement-24,901,976,648;
Roofings Ltd-23,078,432,017;
Gapco Uganda-21,431,514,773;
Kinyara Sugar Works-21,181,946,712;
Aggreko International-20,855,283,730;
Kobil Uganda Limited-20,453,341,346 ...

By Paul Busharizi & Sylvia Juuko

MTN retained its position as the leading taxpayer in Uganda in 2005/06, according to a list of the top 1,000 taxpayers the New Vision has seen.

The telecommunications company remitted sh120b to the treasury, compared to sh93b in the previous year.

Shell Uganda Ltd. was second with sh105b, followed by Uganda Breweries with sh70b.

However, increased loadshedding in 2005/06 made it a difficult year for corporate Uganda, but in spite of this, improved tax collections suggest a growing resilience at the top of Uganda’s business community.

The top 1,000 taxpayers forked out
sh1,889b to the treasury last financial year from sh1,500b in 2004/05.

Increased power rationing constrained the private sector’s ability to produce at a competitive level, resulting in a 3.5 percent shrinkage in manufacturing alone, compared to 13.5 percent growth the previous year.

Tax analysts contend that the option of URA intensifying on tax audits and collections to seal the leakages makes sense, since increasing tax rates would be unfair, given a widely-anticipated economic downturn due to load shedding. “Business is crying out for relief,” a tax accountant from a leading accounting firm said.

“What has been happening in the last year is an internal restructuring of URA to improve tax administration but no moves to provide tax relief to businesses in the view of the worsening business environment,” the accountant added.

Finance minister Dr. Ezra Suruma’s budget proposals this financial year continued the trend to hit at the soft targets and made it obvious that the Government goes for the easy targets like telecommunications and cement companies in a bid to increase taxes.

Concerns about corruption also make for reluctant taxpayers.

“Government could do a lot in terms of reducing corruption, red tape and improving infrastructure to create a business-friendly environment with firms having no qualms about paying their taxes because of the services rendered,” said another leading tax analyst.

While telecommunication companies are still grappling with the excise duty rates on airtime, the minister imposed a five percent duty on landlines and public payphones.

MTN Uganda is still the largest taxpayer contributing 5.38 percent of the total taxes amounting to sh120b while uganda telecom paid sh30.6b representing 1.3 percent and Celtel Uganda paid sh11.2b, representing 0.50 percent.

Analysts said the government needs to give more incentives in addition to the tax waiver on diesel for the manufacturing sector to enable them return to normal production capacity.

But such incentives, they argue, should cut across all sectors in the economy with more attention to small and medium enterprises.

In the meantime, the government is fast-tracking the commissioning of thermal power generators to bridge the power deficit in the short-term as it prepares to construct Bujagali hydropower project next year. Businesses question how much longer they have to bear with rising costs of energy, inadequate infrastructure and red tape, and deal with a huge tax bill.


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