EFRIS: URA will waive unpaid penalties on traders

The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is set to exempt Ugandan traders from outstanding penalties resulting from failure to issue electronic receipts and invoices (EFRIS receipts and invoices).

URA asked affected traders to visit their offices from Monday, May 27 to May 31, 2024.

“Over the past week, URA will be waiving EFRIS sanctions that primarily affected Kikuubo and Central Business District (CBD) traders who were new to EFRIS technology,” URA said in a statement on Wednesday.

EFRIS is a digital system that facilitates the direct transfer of Value Added Tax (VAT) billing information between companies and URAs.

Traders had protested the implementation of EFRIS claiming that it presents several challenges, in particular: it imposes a high cost of compliance; Most traders do not understand the system; and applies to all traders regardless of whether they are VAT registered or not.

Traders also expressed concerns that EFRIS remained complicated and required the employment of people with IT and accounting skills, yet most wholesale traders have minimal formal education.

However, President Museveni maintained the use of EFRIS and advised the URA to suspend fines and penalties for non-compliant traders and instead encouraged dialogue between taxpayers and tax collectors.

In its latest statement, URA promised to provide taxpayers who do not have sufficient knowledge of the new EFRIS system with “knowledge relevant to future compliance.”

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Traders from other districts were advised to visit the nearest URA regional offices for similar assistance.

“URA encourages all merchants already using EFRIS technology to continue to comply with all

EFRIS laws and regulations. Complying with the rules is essential to avoid coercive actions and maintain a business-friendly environment,” the tax collection agency said.

URA began implementing EFRIS in 2021 to address tax administration challenges related to business transactions and issuance of receipts.

The system helps URA assess correct taxes using accurately and authentically generated information. It also allows businesses to thrive with better record-keeping and tracking of stock and sales, among other things.

EFRIS involves the use of electronic invoicing through the URA web portal and direct communication with commercial transaction systems (system-to-system connection), electronic fiscal devices (EFD) and electronic dispenser controllers (EDC) to manage the issuance of receipts electronics and -invoices.

Once a transaction is initiated using any of the EFRIS components, the transaction details are automatically transmitted to URA in real time to generate electronic receipts and invoices.