Posts tagged as: taxes

Govt to Sell Exiled Tycoon’s Property

The Rwandan Revenue Authority has placed Kigali’s Union Trade Centre — a $20 million mall owned by exiled tycoon Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa — among properties to be auctioned for defaulting on their taxes.

Mr Rujugiro has taken the Rwandan government to the East African Court of Justice for the alleged illegal seizure of his properties.

RRA has published a list of properties up for auction and among them is the mall, which in 2013 was put under the Nyarugenge District Commission of Abandoned Properties.

The government said the property and many others had been put under the management of the Commission of Abandoned Properties for “efficient management,” which among other things includes paying taxes and utility bills.

UTC was put on a list of 14 properties that RRA said “are immovable assets of taxpayers whose properties have been attached and will be auctioned.”

The taxes owed are from 2015, when the building was already in the hands of the Commission of Abandoned Properties.

By press time, The EastAfrican had failed to ascertain how much UTC owes the government.

The EACJ is yet to decide the ongoing case in Arusha in which Mr Rujugiro, who fell out with the government in 2010, seeks to redeem a number of his properties that have been seized.

The case filed in 2013 was dismissed by the First Instance Chamber of the EACJ, but later the Appeal Court ordered the Trial Court to hear it afresh “citing that parties had not been afforded an opportunity to present relevant evidence in support of their respective cases.”

The case is still pending before the trial court and no hearing date has so far been announced.


Govt Expects Over 12000 Returnees By July 2018

At least12,000 Rwandans who still live in foreign countries as refugees could return home between July and June next… Read more »

Ministers Clash Over Taxes On Soda, Sweets

Photo: The Citizen


By Olive Eyotaru

Two ministers in the ministry of Health on Wednesday evening ganged up against the minister of state for Planning, David Bahati, to defeat a proposal to scrap and reduce taxes on sugar confectioneries and non-alcoholic drinks.

The minister of Health, Jane Ruth Aceng, and her deputy, Sarah Opendi, put up a spirited fight before parliament’s Finance committee in a bid to keep the 20 per cent excise duty on chewing gum, sweets and confectionaries.

This was after the ministry of finance proposed in the Excise Duty Amendment Bill 2017 to scrap the levy. The bill, tabled by Bahati, also proposed that a 13 per cent (or Shs 240) charge per litre is imposed on sodas under non-alcoholic beverages, apart from fruit or vegetable juices.

Pegging her explanation on the growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease among Ugandans, Aceng urged the legislators to support keeping taxes on sugar confectioneries as part of a government effort to curb these diseases.

The minister said reducing taxes will encourage more consumption.

“Uganda needs to go back to the olden days when these things were luxuries. Those sweets and chocolates are what are causing us huge bills for dentistry,” she said, adding that sugar also causes obesity.”


In its own report, parliament’s Finance committee had recommended a three per cent reduction in the tax imposed on sodas to 10 per cent or Shs 157 per liter.

Committee chairman Henry Musasizi (Rubanda East) justified the recommendation, saying Uganda’s current tax rates on soda are the highest in East Africa, with Kenya charging seven per cent and Tanzania five per cent.

“This affects Uganda’s competitive advantage from the growth and investment point of view. In order to enable the sec- tor to attract investment and promote growth, the rate should be reduced,” explained Musasizi, who received the backing of Nathan Nandala-Mafabi (Budadiri West).

Mafabi said there was a lot of smuggling of low- taxed soda from Kenya. However, Opendi shot down Mafabi’s claims.

“There have been attempts by manufacturers to reduce tax and support the health sector through provision of equipment. We rejected it last year and now they are hinging it on smuggling,” she asserted.

Bahati warned that reducing taxes on soda will erode government’s revenue generation efforts. However, Bahati later agreed, albeit in a resigned tone, to retain the 20 per cent tax on confectioneries and asked the House to endorse the health minister’s proposals.


The House also approved a tax increment on locally manufactured and imported soft cup cigarattes. In the 2017/2018 financial year, locally manufactured soft cup cigarettes will be taxed Shs 55,000 per 1,000 sticks while imported soft cup will be taxed Shs 77,000 per 1,000 sticks.

For hinge lid cigarettes, importers will pay Shs 100,000 per 1000 sticks while locally manufactured ones will be maintained at Shs 80,000.

This is the second consecutive increase in the tax for soft cup and hinge lid cigarettes. During the last budget reading, finance minister Matia Kasaija imposed a Shs 50,000 tax on every 1,000 sticks of soft cup and Shs 80,000 per 1,000 sticks of hinge lids.

For alcohol, any brand whose local material content (excluding water) is at least 75 per cent will be taxed 30 per cent or Shs 650 per litre, compared to the Shs 700 which government had proposed.

Importers of undenatured spirits will face a 100 per cent or 2,500 per litre tax while those made from locally produced raw materials will be charged 60 per cent.

Other spirits will pay an 80 per cent tax while a 60 per cent or Shs 1,860 per litre tax has been maintained for malt beer.

Nigeria: Domestic Flight Operations Declined 67 Per Cent in First Quarter 2017

By Oladeinde Olawoyin

Domestic flight operations declined by 67 per cent in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the same period in 2016, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, has said.

The NCAA’s Consumer Protection Department, in a document on Monday, disclosed that 10,366 flights operated in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the 15,434 flights operated in 2016 by the same eight domestic airlines.

The domestic airlines, the agency said, are Aero Contractors, Arik Air, Air Peace, Azman Air, Dana Air, First Nation, Med-View and Overland.

Out of the 10,366 flights operated in the first quarter, there were 6 ,789 delays and 318 cancellations, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

Air Peace, which operated 3, 262 flights, topped the chart of delayed flights with 2,036, while Arik Air recorded 1,059 delayed flights and 246 cancellations out of its 1,665 flight operations.

Dana Air, on its part, operated 1,525 flights with 1,017 delayed and five cancellations.

Meanwhile, the domestic airlines said that various factors militated against their successful operations in the country, which they listed to include high cost of aviation fuel, inadequate navigational aids and multiple charges by the various aviation agencies.

In his reaction, the President of the Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, Nogie Meggison, said there was a need to create a more conducive environment for domestic airlines to thrive.

Mr. Meggison said that Nigerian carriers were restricted to daylight operations in most airports in the country while airlines in other West African countries operate 24 hours.

Allen Onyema, the Chairman of Air Peace, decried the issue of multiple charges imposed on the airlines, adding that it had put many of them out of business.

“If these taxes are not reduced , more airlines will crumble. No airline can survive this regime of taxes. Currently, we pay about 37 charges,” the Air Peace boss said.

He added that the taxes have been put in place before the present administration came on board and appealed to the government to streamline the charges as a form of support to the airlines.

Kenya: Nairobi County Staff Risk Missing Salaries Due to CBK Move

By Maureen Kakah

Nairobi County government staff may not receive their salaries after Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) had monies transferred from the county government’s account to the taxman’s to cater for arrears of up to Sh1 billion.

In a suit filed on Monday, the Nairobi County government faulted the Central bank for directing funds totalling Sh1,017,393,208 from its recurrent account and having it credited to Kenya Revenue Authority’s Domestic Taxes income tax payer account.

According to Nairobi County, the transaction is illegal and is calculated at sabotaging as well as blackmailing the Evans Kidero-led government to outrageous uneconomically sustainable demands.

“The funds herein were illegally transferred to KRA’s account yet they were solely meant to cater for the due salaries of the employees who are in the Nairobi county government’s payroll,” said Prof Tom Ojienda, acting for the county.

The County government claimed that a temporary court order had been issued on December 19, last year stopping KRA from issuing any notices of getting monies from Equity Bank, Cooperative Bank, CBK and Webtribe limited for tax arrears.


The county government also claimed that the five institutions who are listed as interested parties in the suit, are aware of the existing court order, however KRA went ahead to issue an agency notice on April 13 to CBK while demanding payment of the said monies as tax due to it.

The county government alleged that it did notify KRA that its action was in contempt of court through a letter dated April 20 but did not receive any response.

And on April 26, the Principal Finance officer of the county government requested the office of the Controller of Budget (CoB) for grant on credit on exchequer account of Sh1,093,000,000, from its revenue account to the recurrent one, being part of expenditure for the period ending June.

The CoB authorised the requisition but in May, the county government received a letter from CBK notifying them about the transfer of the monies.

They alleged that the act is disobedience of a court order and a violation of the Public Finance Management Act.

“There is a lot of unrest and tension in the Nairobi City Hall as the employees have not received their monthly salaries to date, it is therefore imperative that KRA be compelled to release the monies that were transferred to it by CBK so that the county government can meet its recurrent expenditures,” said Prof Ojienda.

They want the matter considered as urgent, an order issued to KRA to return the said monies and that Equity Bank, Cooperative, CBK and Webtribe limited be barred from acting contrary to the orders issued last year.


USAID Suspends Funding to Ministry of Health Departments

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Social Media Abuzz Over Firing of Civil Servants

By Ndeninsia Lisley

Dar es Salaam — President John Magufuli’s sacking of 9,932 public servants for using fake academic certificates while excluding political leaders in the verification process has sent social media abuzz.

Some users commended the President while others criticised him for excluding political leaders in the verification.

Speaking before handing the verification report to the President, the minister of State in President’s Office (Public Service Management and Good Governance), Ms Angellah Kairuki, said the exercise didn’t involve political leaders: ministers, MPs as well as regional and district commissioners. A social media user, Mr Laurent Gilbert, wrote on his facebook page: “Are politicians, not public servants? Are DCs and RCs not public servants?”

Mr Elijah Simon said excluding DCs and RCs in the verification process was odd as they had been getting salaries from taxpayers.

Mr Paschal Kasigwa commented: “I think the government forget that today’s Tanzanian generation is yesterday’s. DCs and RCs use our taxes, government cars and they are heads of security in districts and regions, How can the President tell us they are not involved in verification process?”, adding that the government should evaluate itself.

Another social media user, Doduo Zungu, posted a comment in support of the President. “What I think there is a lot which is still desired to clean the civil service, I am sure there are many public servant using fake academic certificates are still in the government payroll.”

Somalyance_mfaume commented on Instagram that justice can only be found to God — in Heaven.

“This report has a lot of problems. You can’t excludeDCs and RCs because they simply know to read and write. They are also public servants whose academic qualifications should be verified and punished if they forged their certificates…,” said Ms Zainabu Mrutu.


Magufuli Defends ‘Anti-Evil Crusade’

President John Magufuli yesterday defended his bold measures to clean the country, saying the initiatives are inevitable… Read more »

MPs Raise Concern Over Low Districts’ Spending

By Eugene Kwibuka

Members OF the Lower house have urged the government to tackle reasons behind slow implementation of the current national budget for the financial year 2016/17.

The recommendation was reached after a parliamentary report showed that spending in districts is at less than 50 per cent, two months to the end of the fiscal year.

Put together by members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on National Budget and Patrimony after touring all the country’s 30 districts in February, the report indicates that execution of budget by districts in general stands at 46 per cent of the planned activities for both recurrent and development budgets are considered.

The legislators found that recurrent budget for districts, such as money to pay staff and buy supplies, had been used at 55 per cent of the planned expenditure while development budget, such as for building roads and other forms of infrastructure, had been executed at 34.7 per cent.

It’s an unacceptable rate given the remaining time to the end of the fiscal year and the government needs to move fast to address the issues behind the delays in implementing the country’s budget as planned, the legislators said.

“The execution is really at a low level,” said MP Constance Mukayuhi Rwaka, the chairperson of the Standing Committee on National Budget and Patrimony.

Her report to the plenary presented on Monday and Tuesday highlighted that the Ministry for Finance and Economic Planning takes long to release funds meant for districts’ activities.

But that’s mostly because the ministry also gets the bigger bulk of the funds from taxes mainly paid at the end of March every year, just three months before the closure of the financial year.

The MPs advised the government to revise the law to ensure that the taxes- mostly income, rental, and trading license taxes -should be paid at an earlier date in the fiscal year in order to enable implementation of what is planned in the annual budget.

“Most Rwandans pay taxes end March. We need a law that brings taxes to an earlier date in order to fast-track execution of projects in line with the budget,” Mukayuhi told journalists on Tuesday, shortly after presenting her report in Parliament.

The RRA Commissioner-General Richard Tushabe later told The New Times that bringing the payment of the taxes to an earlier date would be fine for the tax collection body”.

But he also explained that there is a reason why the date to pay the taxes was set as March 31 of every year.

He said that it’s because a year of business ends on December 31, and taxpayers are given three months until their tax declarations and pay their levies in line with how their business operated in the past year.

“I believe in policymakers and we are ready to implement whatever will be decided if the law is to be changed. We will support what will be decided and implement whatever changes that will be made to the law because for us we implement the law,” Tusabe said in a brief interview on phone.

The total government budget for the current financial year stands at slightly over Rwf1.9 trillion, with 55.6 per cent of the funds coming from taxes.

MPs’ findings about budget execution in districts will be discussed with officials from the central government early next month as part of the analysis of how the budget for the current financial year was executed and how the next fiscal year’s budget should be planned.


Parliament Review Rwanda, Morocco Double Taxation Bill

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Judge Rejects Documents Because Font is Too Small

Photo: Martin Makangu/The Nation

High Court judge Roselyne Aburili.

By Maureen Kakah

A High Court judge is on the spot for declining to issue directions in cases that come before her because of the type in suit documents.

Justice Roselyne Aburili declined to give directions in a case in which a company involved in lotteries sued over the 50 per cent gambling tax.

Bradley Trading, a major shareholder in SportPesa, has challenged the increase of taxes levied on betting companies. It sued Finance Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, Attorney-General Githu Muigai, Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery and the Betting Control and Licensing Board.

The matter was filed under a certificate of urgency.

However, when the judge was expected to give directions on whether she would issue temporary orders, she asked the firm to file fresh documents, because the font size used was not “appropriate”.

“The applicant is directed to file reader-friendly pleadings for the court’s consideration,” said Justice Aburili. “I decline to consider the small fonts.”

She directed the firm to file fresh documents with font size 14 and with further specification of the required spacing.

“We enclose herewith the said pleadings in larger fonts as directed,” said the company’s lawyers, from the firm of Muturi Mwangi & Associates.

This is not the only case in which the said judge has issued such a directive. She issued similar directions in a land dispute case filed by Karaini Investments, who have sued the National Lands Commission.

“I decline to consider it for reasons that the fonts used for typing pleadings or documents is too small to be read,” said Justice Aburili then and directed the party to file “reader-friendly pleadings”.

This has been seen as a deliberate attempt at slowing the wheels of justice for those moving to court with urgent matters but have to wait longer for directions as they have to prepare the case documents afresh with “reader-friendly fonts”.

The judge is, however, also known for raising other issues for not hearing and determining cases — such as not having the pen she is used to when doing her work.


Country Launches Water Harvesting Programme

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Kenya: Bungoma County Scraps Parking Fees for Boda Bodas

By Titus Oteba

Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka has suspended parking fees for boda bodas.

Speaking at Mabanga Farmers Training College Thursday, Mr Lusaka said the riders were being charged a lot of money by revenue collecting officers.

The boda bodas were paying Sh20 to Sh30 at every parking yard.

He said the county government was collecting Sh610 million monthly from the boda boda industry and the scrapping of the parking fees will be a big blow to the devolved unit, but a gain for the jobless youth.

He disclosed that the county is collecting over Sh600 million in revenue annually and urged the business community to pay their taxes on time to enable his government launch many development projects.

“Majority of business people are not paying their taxes on time. We need the land rates paid on time to enable us plan our budget on time.

“This will assist us launch development projects to help our people,” said Mr Lusaka.

He said the county needs good roads, street lighting, water and building of polytechnics and ECDE classes with the revenue collected.


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Mung’aro Says Nasa Won’t Get Coast Votes Due to Land Issues

By Charles Lwanga

Kilifi North MP Gideon Mung’aro says the opposition will not win any votes at the Coast as its leaders failed to address land issues when they were in government.

The Jubilee point-man in the region said Nasa leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka failed to solve land issues during the Grand Coalition government.

Mr Mung’aro said it was only when Jubilee came to power that more than 100,000 Coast squatters got title deeds.

He also issued a 30-day ultimatum to Governor Amason Kingi to produce records on the revenue collected for past financial years.

He said a senior county officer blocked the assembly from accessing the revenue records in 2016 by moving to court once the report was requested in a bid to hold them accountable.


“If he fails to honour our call, I will be forced to go round the county together with fellow legislators and ask residents to demonstrate against paying taxes until the records are made public,” he said.

Mr Mung’aro wants Governor Kingi to account for the expenditure of the revenue collected since residents have been deprived of crucial development.

“Every month, the boda boda operators are taxed Sh300 and it is unfortunate that some county officers moved to court to block the county assembly from knowing the amount of revenue collected,” he said.

Mr Mung’aro has joined forces with Kilifi Deputy Governor Kenneth Kamto, who is his running mate, to unseat Governor Kingi of ODM during the August elections.

The gubernatorial hopeful also challenged Governor Kingi to show his development records rather than telling the public that he is a staunch ODM leader.

He also told Mr Kingi to stop politicising development matters in the county and instead tell people about his development record and his plans for Kilifi.


Primary School Confirms Mombasa Governor Was Its Pupil

A primary school in Mombasa has confirmed that Governor Ali Hassan Joho was its pupil in the 1980s. Read more »

Zimbabwe: Taxi Operators Against New Tax

By Abigail Mawonde

The Zimbabwe Union of Drivers and Conductors (ZUDAC) has bemoaned the recent introduction of a presumptive tax on commuter omnibuses by Government, saying it could trigger a hike in targets by operators, putting pressure on drivers.

Commuter omnibus operators will now pay $45 per vehicle in presumptive tax.

According to a Government Gazette of March 24, informal traders like commuter omnibus operators, hairdressers and cross border traders are expected to pay a monthly presumptive tax.

“The presumptive tax chargeable in terms of Section 36C of the Taxes Act shall be in the case of . . . (e) operators of omnibuses for the carriage of passengers for hire or reward having seating accommodation for not less than 15 or more than 24 passengers, 45 dollars per month for each such omnibus operated.”

ZUDAC chairperson Mr Fradreck Maguramhinga yesterday said the tax would affect their operations in a big way.

“As ZUDAC we are not in support of the introduction of this new tax that Government has imposed on kombis.

“We have so many other monies being paid to enable us to operate on a day-to-day basis, hence the introduction of this tax will increase the burden,” he said.

Mr Maguramhinga said it was not fair to continue taxing operators without providing a conducive environment for them to operate.

“We do not have proper ranks in town and passengers end up going to the ‘mshikashika’ vehicles while kombis lose customers,” he said.

“For those kombis following the correct channel of being in the ranks, they rarely have three trips a day, which is not sustainable.

“When the time comes for us to pay the taxes, the money is hardly adequate to do so.

“We were not going to have problems with the tax if we were operating on an even ground,” he said.


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Zimbabwean opposition parties have vowed that they would not allow President Robert Mugabe to “lead the country from a… Read more »

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