The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) hosted executives of gold refineries and exporting companies in a meeting aimed at discussing payment plans for tax arrears and providing them with additional time to settle their dues.
Simon Esunget, the acting Manager of Customs at Entebbe, stated, “Now that the court of law has ruled in URA’s favor, we want to look for a way forward on payment of your arrears and on how we can best facilitate you to do so.”
Following a High Court ruling in Kampala, which found URA not in contempt of its earlier orders regarding tax enforcement, the court commended URA for steps taken towards compliance with its directives.
The court’s decision came after three gold export companies—Bullion Refinery Ltd, Aurnish Trading Ltd, and Metal Testing Ltd—had sued URA, alleging contempt of court orders issued on April 4. These companies argued that URA persisted in issuing assessments despite the court’s orders.
Esunget explained that URA computed tax arrears for all gold exported from July 1, 2021, to March 1, 2023, and issued demand notices to the respective gold exporters. Some companies began partial payments until legal challenges were raised.
Andrew Mahaka, representing the gold dealers, emphasized the need for collective engagement to resolve issues, expressing readiness to streamline processes and make payments.
Acting Commissioner Customs, Dr. Geoffrey Okaka Owich, clarified that arrangements for payment could extend up to 6 months, with further installments requiring approval from the Commissioner General.
The dealers agreed to reconcile outstanding amounts, acknowledging the importance of conducting business while considering tax obligations.