Museveni promises to look into raised complaints against VAT

KABAROLE, Uganda—The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni has pledged to address complaints raised against the Value Added Tax (VAT) which some of the business people say is unfriendly and burden threatening business growth. 

The president’s response follows similar complaints raised previously by business people in different forums but most recently by local business man Isaya Kalya, proprietor of Fort Portal Municipality-based Kalya Courts Hotel. 

Kalya reported to the President that the tax that is currently levied on businesses’ operations is unfriendly.

Speaking at the launch of the 30-room Kalya Courts Hotel in Kabarole District, Tooro Sub-Region in Western Uganda, the President said: “Uganda has got peace. Tooro Sub-Region has got mountains and the national park. You have got a high potential in the tourism sector. The vital components in tourism are peace and nature. Infrastructure is also vital in promoting tourism and other developmental sectors.” 

He observed that Tooro Sub-Region has got the opportunity to receive tourists all the way from Murchison Falls National Park through to Bunyoro Sub-Region who will use the tarmac roads that are under construction in the two areas as he referred to the ongoing construction of the Kyenjojo – Kagadi, Hoima – Masindi road. He reminded them that the roads’ infrastructure is important in the promotion of the tourism industry.

Museveni also informed the guests that the rehabilitation of the Mbarara – Katunguru road is in progress adding that the rehabilitation of the Kasese – Fort Portal road will commence soon.

He gave assurances that the women’s group that is currently engaged in the production and export of a variety of handicrafts and baskets will be supported.

Several business people involved in hotelier in Uganda have on several occasions complained against VAT levied by the tax body on all hotels as a big impediment to the growth and sustainability of their businesses. 
Value-added tax (VAT) is governed by the VAT Act and administered by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). VAT is charged at the rate of 18% on the supply of most goods and services in the course of business in Uganda.