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URA raids textile firm over taxes

By Vision Reporter

Added 29th October 2008 03:00 AM

THE Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has raided SEBCO Uganda, a textile firm, over sh800m in unpaid taxes.

THE Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has raided SEBCO Uganda, a textile firm, over sh800m in unpaid taxes.

By Samuel Balagadde

THE Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has raided SEBCO Uganda, a textile firm, over sh800m in unpaid taxes.

The tax body’s enforcement team impounded 10 containers of textile raw materials for the Masanyalaze Zone-based company on Entebbe Road in Kampala last week.

Ronald Kyeyune, the SEBCO personnel manager, disclosed that the raid had brought work at the company to a standstill for the last five months. This, Kyeyune, added, had rendered 250 employees including Chinese experts redundant.

He disclosed that several interventions by top government officials and the Kampala City Traders Association to release the containers had not yielded results.

Kyeyune claimed they cleared all the taxes but URA insisted that the containers’ tax values were under-declared.

“The Chinese experts who have been training our workers on multipurpose sewing machines are also stranded. But we are still paying them highly despite the closure of the company,” Kyeyune lamented.

He explained that other heavy-duty industrial ironing machinery had also got damaged because they had not been operational for long.

But Enock Walugembe, the head of URA enforcement department, clarified that SEBCO declared the goods as raw materials whereas they were finished products.

He explained that SEBCO will have to pay extra taxes before the containers are released. Walugembe disclosed that SEBCO paid only sh3m per conatiner in Value Added Tax instead of the sh80m charged per container of finished goods.

He added that several containers belonging to various companies had been seized over tax under-declaration.

SEBCO is owned by city tycoon John Sebalamu who owns several commercial buildings in the city centre.

URA is fighting tax evasion and smuggling as it strives to increase revenue collection.

URA raids textile firm over taxes

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