Fishermen in Kalangala district have protested a move by Uganda Revenue Authority-URA to collect income tax.
The government has also started collecting income tax from all fishermen across the country as a way of contributing to the National resource envelope. Other taxes solicited from fishermen include boat and fishermen Licenses.
Income taxis imposed on individuals or companies that vary with respective income or profits made in a specific period of time. Each fisherman was first asked to pay shillings 100,000 in April 2018, however, URA increased the amount to shillings 250,000 a month later.
Hannington Makubya, the Chairperson Kalangala fisheries Union, says that since they were tasked to pay income tax, many fishermen have failed to register for Tax Identification Numbers-TIN.
He also says that fishermen have been asked to pay less money through illegal means and given receipts of payment.
//Cue in: "Nze nagenda mu …
Cue out: … kino tekiba kituufu"//
According to the District Fisheries office, Kalangala had an approximate 4,000 fishing boats in January 2017. However, the number of boats has drastically reduced since many were confiscated and destroyed by the UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit.
Andrew Wasswa, a fisherman, says that before URA collects taxes, it should first assess the amount of money a fisherman earns from the lake every year.
//Cue in: "ekyokusooka kya byona …
Cue out: … nagwo bagwetaakisa"//
Willy Lugoloobi the District Chairperson, says that it is illegal for URA to solicit taxes from fishermen without due diligence and sensitization.
//Cue in: "Naye gavumenti leero …
Cue out: … ekyokujja ku bavubi sente"//
//Cue in: "So when they…
Cue out: … sensitize our people"//
Ian Rumanyika, the Public Affairs Manager URA, denies allegations that some of the fishermen are asked for kickbacks to register for TIN. He also says that URA still faces challenges of widening tax bases since many of the people in the informal sector like fishermen do not want to pay taxes.