Makerere University Council Violates Income Tax Law Top story

2583 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
URA is demanding a total of 900 million shillings as undeducted taxes from the University. However, the Auditor General states that the list of beneficiaries was not availed to him for verification.

Members of Parliament were yesterday left outraged when they heard that the Makerere University council and violated the Income tax law to benefit themselves.
 
Makerere University Staff led by the University Secretary David Kahunda Muhwezi were being quizzed over the biological children scheme. In February 2002, the University introduced the scheme whereby 50 percent and 30 percent of the fees for day and evening programmes respectively are waived for the biological children of staff admitted to the University.
 
According to the Income Tax Act, the waiver is treated as a benefit and accordingly URA is demanding a total of 900 million shillings as undeducted taxes from the University. However, the Auditor General states that the list of beneficiaries was not availed to him for verification.
 
Each University staff is allowed four children whose school fees are partially paid by the University.
The Council in a meeting then resolved to foot the cost of the scheme and not deduct the money from the individuals. The committee concluded that this move by the council was wrong.
 
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Public accounts committee lead counsel Eddy Kwizera also MP Bufumbira East, asked why the University failed to pay the 900m shs and whether they wrote to the Ministry of Finance to waive it.
 
Joshua Karamagi the University Bursar explains that when the policy was put in place, the financial implication that it was a taxable benefit was not foreseen.  He adds that they wrote to Uganda Revenue Authority which directed them to the Ministry of Finance that decided that the tax must be paid.
 
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The University failed in its appeal against the tax and URA attached its bank account at DFCU and recovered the tax that had accumulated to 1.2 billion shillings.
 
The University Council is made up of 24 members out of whom 13 are University staff who are the main beneficiaries of the scheme.
 
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Kwizera then asked Karamagi why the University lecturers while on strike normally forget that their children are favoured since not every Ugandan has the opportunity to get their child’s University fee paid partially.
 
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