Former presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine) has termed as continued persecution, the demand by Uganda Revenue Authority that he pays extra money as tax to clear his armored car.
This comes after URA revalued the car at USD 166,700 ( Shs. 601million) and revised the tax payable on it to more than 300 million. The Toyota Land Cruiser was imported into the country in November last year from Kenya and cleared in February this year, according to URA.
However, the tax body later said the car that was armoured and it had been cleared in error, as an ordinary car, paying less tax than was due. According to URA’s commissioner Abel Kagumire, the car was valued at about 158 million Shillings, and sources say a tax of Shs. 88m was then assessed and paid, and the car released.
Following Kyagulanyi’s statement later that the car is armoured, the revenue authority decided to launch an investigation and later recalled the car for reassessment, and upon establishing that the unit was armoured, the NUP leader is now required to pay up to 337,698,776.25 in tax.
“…it was confirmed that the unit is armoured,” reads the letter by URA to Kyagulanyi’s lawyer Anthony Wamelli. “The details of ballistic protection were confirmed as 90 mm for the window upper plate glass, and 6 mm for the bottom haul.”
The letter signed by Commissioner Kagumire adds that the declarations made on February 12 misled the authority into clearing it as an ordinary car. The letter adds that the declaration bore “falsehoods of clearing it as a normal vehicle yet it was armored contrary to Sections 203 of the East African Community Customs Management Act. 2004.
But Kyagulanyi asserts that there was no wrongdoing on his part and the vehicle has complied with all legal and tax requirements.
“The vehicle was taken to the Directorate of Interpol in Kololo and they cleared it. It was then taken to the forensics department of police in Naguru, and they too cleared it. Then we took it to URA and they did their own independent verification and levied the relevant tax which we paid,” he says in a statement.
He alleges that there were attempts to drag the car to the Ministry of Defence for clearance but they failed for lack of a law.
“At first they claimed that armoured vehicles require clearance by the Ministry of Defence. But there was no law to back their outrageous claim. That is how they said it was undervalued,” he says.
Kyagulanyi is yet to indicate whether he will challenge the latest tax assessment of the vehicle.
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