UGANDA: TAX THE BIBLE AND THE KORAN ANNOYS RELIGIOUS
Government has reinstated the tax on the import of religious materials such as the Bible and the Koran. Religious denounce a measure to deprive people of "soul food."
"This government has gone too far in its tax collection. How can you tax the word of God? Rather, it should assist the publication of these documents, "said yesterday Ramathan Mugalu, Secretary General of the Muslim Supreme Council of Uganda.
Same story on the side of his Christian counterpart, Stanley Ntagali, Catholic Archbishop of Uganda who opposes that religious materials (Bible, Koran, hymn or prayer, etc.) are taxed as import export.
Attitudes that speak volumes about the degree of annoyance of the "people of God" residing in Uganda about the extent of the authorities establishing taxes on spiritual books. For Doris Akol, Executive Director of Uganda Revenue Authority (URA tax collection service), the policy of exempting religious documents is a real "shortfall in public finances."
"We know that in the past the value added tax (VAT) has been paid on the Bible, prayer books and hymnals, as is provided by law. It was a violation of the law that do not pay a tax under the law. It was also a shortfall, "wrote on April 19, Ms Akol in response to the request of the Archbishop Ngatali calling for the lifting of taxes on religious documents.
"Parliament should be involved"
A shortfall, it is really a. Of some 40 million people account Uganda, nine out of ten citizens are Christians or Muslims. What would make a good tax Pactolus when one considers that the proposed tax should earn $ 0.81 per document.
For Joram Kahenano, a Catholic cleric, the URA should refer the matter to Parliament so that the latter examines the problem. But the government is far from addressing the issue in this approach. "The URA is not a monster; it is his mandate assigned by the law to collect taxes and duties established by law, "said Jim Mugunga, spokesman of the Ministry of Finance.
According to sources, the government has also proposed to introduce new taxes, particularly against social media users in the coming budget laws.
But, given that President Museveni had exempted these religious documents in that they are not imported for commercial purposes or for profit, the debate on taxation of religious books could continue. And even take another turn. Who knows ?
Source : afriquemedia.tv