Property owners in Uganda have expressed their frustration with the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) over communication problems regarding rental income taxes. During a meeting held at the URA headquarters in Kampala on September 27, property owners voiced their concerns to Commissioner General John Musinguzi Rujoki and other URA officials.
Ismael Bwekwaso, one of the property owners, questioned why the URA collected their telephone contacts but failed to respond to their inquiries. He highlighted the need for better communication channels to address complaints related to tax matters.
“We find ourselves desperate when you can’t help us,” Bwekwaso said, emphasizing the importance of dialogue in resolving tax issues for the country’s development.
Property owners also urged the URA to reconsider its approach to collecting rental income taxes. They criticized the agency for perceived high-handedness, especially when demanding taxes from property owners.
“We need a listening ear. Managing a building which relies on suppliers who provide goods on credit, and then having our accounts closed over non-payment of rental income, is unfair,” Bwekwaso stated.
During the meeting, which drew more than 2000 property owners from Kampala, Commissioner General Musinguzi apologized for any mistakes made by the URA and pledged to improve relations with landlords. However, he also reminded property owners of their tax obligations.
Property owners also requested tax holidays, considering the challenges faced by businesses in the post-COVID-19 era. They advocated for alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to address critical issues related to tax remittance.
Responding to concerns about the lack of response to landlord complaints, Musinguzi advised property owners to utilize alternative communication channels to seek assistance. He noted that he couldn’t personally address a million calls per day.
Commissioner Sarah Chengelat clarified that individuals were required to pay 12% as rental income tax, while companies were subject to a 30% annual tax rate.