Ayivu division councilors protest new tax on allowances

todayAugust 26, 2021

By Musa Sabir

A section of Ayivu division councilors in Arua city are protesting the move by government to levy a tax on their allowances.
The councilors are entitled to 250,000 shillings per council sitting, with a 30 percent deduction to run council business for the 2021/2022 fiscal year.
This, according to the councilors will have an adverse effect on them since the money received as allowance is meager.
Female councilor representing Onzivu Ward to the division council, Juliet Ongyera says there is need to provide clear guidance before implementation of the tax.
“I have been in council but I have never seen such a tax before. I don’t know whether this constitution or the so called book has been made because of Ayivu division councilors. How comes we didn’t have this tax before? I want an answer to that question. And besides this money we are getting is too little to be taxed”, she said.
These concerns over tax on the Councilors’ allowance comes at a time when the councilors have not received their payments since July this year when Ayivu Division became operational.
According to the Councilor for Tanganyika Ward, Farid Asiku there is no need to tax the whole allowance.
“If you look at our emoluments, we have the transport and lunch allowances which should not be taxed. I would rather say, out of 250,000 shillings, let them remove 100,000 shillings transport refund, lunch allowance of 80,000 shillings which not be touched. But let them levy a 30 percent tax on the remaining 70,000 shillings”, he said.

The tax?
In 2011, Uganda Revenue Authority URA introduced a 30 percent new tax to be deducted from the allowances of the district councilors, as provided for in the Income Tax Policy.
Emmanuel Angudubo, the Ayivu Division acting town clerk says these are mandatory taxes required by Uganda Revenue Authority URA.
“What I want members to understand is that it’s a national thing. Government can give you money using this hand and keeps taking it back using the other hand. The income tax policy is a document enacted way back so it has not started now”, he said.

COVER PHOTO: Ayivu division Council during the recent council sitting. Councilors want the 30% income tax levied on their allowances revised. Photo by Sabir Musa.

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