The Commissioner-General of Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Doris Akol, has categorically told business people to show proof of rent payment if they are to get tax deductions.
Akol’s pronouncement followed complaints by the Chairman of Kampala City Traders Association, Everest Kayondo, that many landlords do not issue receipts to tenants for rent and that whenever the tenants claim rent as cost of doing business the claims are rejected.
Speaking at the URA Annual Budget Breakfast in Kampala, Kayondo said many landlords simply acknowledge rent payment on business cards and do not issue receipts, a habit that their tenants fear to complain fearing reprisals.
In her response, URA’s Akol said rental income is one taxation area where there is a lot of evasion especially by landlords. The Commissioner-General wondered why landlords should evade taxes yet the tenants, who pay rent and comply in tax payment, fail to get deductions of rent paid.
Akol asked the tenants to demand receipts for rent payments, short of which they won’t get tax refunds.
Rent continues to be a thorny issue among business people, especially the small and medium ones. Landlords, in addition to charging in dollars, do not issue receipts and have the unilateral power of throwing out those they don’t want.
The income tax amendment act for 2017/18 financial year now mandates landlords to charge rent in Uganda shillings.