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Judicial officers, TAT tipped on taxation

Judicial officers, TAT tipped on taxation More than 23 Judicial Officers and members of the Tax Appeals Tribunal have undergone a two-day training on taxation. The training held between March 1and 2 was under the theme, “Current developments in tax Law, practice and administration”. The training was opened by the Deputy Chief Justice, Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, at Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort in Kigo. He encouraged judicial officers to utilise the workshop to get acquainted with complex aspects of taxation. “This is an opportunity to engage the experts in the field of taxation regarding the current developments and how they impact on our economic growth,” he said. He added that the role of courts and the Tax Appeals Tribunal is clear and that they must ensure that the intention of the Legislature in the taxing statutes is achieved through consistent and informed interpretation. The acting Commissioner General of Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Mr. Henry Saka said the institution continues to grapple with tax deficits that partly result from evasion of taxes by business entities. “Whereas some tax disputes are genuine concerns, others are deliberately aimed at stalling URA’s process in order to avoid tax payment since court cases take long to be resolved. He said. He also reported that since 2016, URA has lost a sum of Shs550 billion through interim orders stopping the collection of the taxes. It was reported that the subsequent attachment of bank accounts cripples government operations and delivery of service. Mr. Saka said judicial officers need to get skilled in emerging trends in tax law such as tax planning and transfer pricing for multinational entities and disputes. At the training, a number of topics were explored such as Tax adjudication; issues and challenges, combating financial crimes, VAT fraud and invoice trading and the emerging trends in tax law, practice and Tax administration among others. The workshop was closed by Justice Duncan Gaswaga who appealed to Government to be mindful when preparing Taxation Legislation and policies to avoid market distortions and negative impact on economic growth. Other stakeholders at the training included the Director of Public Prosecution, Hon. Justice Mike Chibita, the President of the Uganda Law Society, Francis Gimara. The training was organised by URA and the Judicial Training Institute.

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