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Govt exempts electric vehicle makers from stamp duty

KAMPALA, May 7, 2024 – Local companies manufacturing electric vehicles, electric batteries, or electric vehicle charging equipment or fabricator of a frame and body of an electric vehicle; and employ 80 percent of Ugandans will not be levied stamp duty in the 2024/2025 financial year.

The exemption is part of the amendments in the Stamp Duty [Amendment] Bill, 2024 that was passed during plenary sitting chaired by Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among.

According to the Bill, to further quality for the exemption; the companies shall have the capacity to use at least 80 percent of the locally produced raw materials, subject to availability;

The Chairperson of the Committee on Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Amos Kankunda, added that the company is required to have a minimum investment capital of US$10 million in case of a foreigner, or US$ 300,000 in case of a citizen or US$ 150,000 in case of a citizen who invests up country.

“This is intended to promote investment in an environmentally friendly transport system in Uganda,” he said.

The Chairperson of the Committee on Finance, Amos Kankunda, speaking during the plenary sitting yesterday (Courtesy photo).

The Budadiri West legislator Nathan Nandala-Mafabi said that Uganda is endowed with herbs and hence, promoting their use by manufacturers is a move in the right direction.

Pian County MP,  Remigio Achia, said that the exemption is timely since youths are increasingly investing in science and innovations.

“Young people are engaged in innovations and it is very good,” said Achia.

Karim Masaba, Industrial Division MP in Mbale City welcomed the exemption, saying that by employing 80 percent of Ugandans in such companies, government would be protecting the citizenry.

On his part, Kira Municipality MP, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda dissented from the committee’s report, arguing that according to the Auditor General, out of the 36 companies that obtained tax incentives and exemptions, 22 were performing below the 50 percent threshold, thereby failing to achieve the desired employment levels.

“The Auditor General is advising us to stop tax exemptions because they are not serving the purpose. You may not listen to the Opposition but at least listen to the Auditor General,” he said.

He added that tax exemptions cost government Shs1.4 trillion annually.

Butambala County MP, Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi, called for comprehensive study companies that are considered for tax exemptions, saying that some of them lobby so as to avoid taxes.

“We do not have revenue and we are exempting without specific studies to form our exemptions. We can exempt but let us be very elaborate with studies,” he said.

The lawmakers also approved a proposal of stamp duty exemption on shares or other securities by an investor in a private equity or venture capital fund regulated under the Capital Markets Authority Act.

The Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development [General Duties], Henry Musasizi, said that this will stimulate Uganda’s growth.

He added that taxing private equity and venture capital has forced potential investors into neighboring countries such as Kenya and Tanzania.

“It is a new area and in order to attract capital, we need to exempt them from the stamp duty tax,” said Musasizi.

Dicksons Kateshumbwa, Sheema Municipality legislator supported minister Musasizi, saying that based on the nature of equity and venture capital investments, it is prudent that tax is waived until profits are realised.

“When someone [an investor] is coming in, we should reduce our appetite to tax where there is no interest yet,” Katesumbwa said.

Relatedly, legislators passed the Tax Procedures Code [Amendment] Bill, 2024 whose objective is to ensure that a taxpayer who intends to claim a deduction of or credit for goods destroyed informs the Uganda Revenue Authority’s Commissioner General before destruction of goods.

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