The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) has recommended the scrapping of the proposed UGX 100,000 as stamp duty on payment of professional licenses.
The Stamps Duty (amendment) Act 2020 amended Schedule 2 of the Stamps Duty Act, 2014; by imposing a duty of UGX 100,000 on payment of a professional license or certificate by every professional offering professional services.
Among the proposals submitted to the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) regarding the regulations that hamper the ease of doing business, ICPAU argues that the payment of the proposed UGX 100,000 as stamp duty by professionals amounts to double taxation.
“In the above sense, therefore, we recommend that you consider the amendment to Schedule 2 of the Stamp Duty Act, 2014, so as to avoid multiple taxation,” reads in part the statement from ICPAU.
In order to streamline the conduct of accountants, ICPAU issues annual Certificates of Practice and licenses to practising accountants. ICPAU conducts periodical inspections and reviews of the work of practising accountants to ensure compliance with national laws and regulations particularly pertaining to tax compliance.
Acquisition of a professional license or Certificate is already subject to payment of the professional license fees. Additionally, under the Trade (Licensing) (Amendment), 2015, professionals’ places of business are liable to paying trade license fees to local authorities within which they operate. More so, self-employed professionals are also required to pay income tax on profits from their business undertakings, while employed/salaried professionals are required to pay tax in various forms including Pay as You Earn (PAYE), as well as Local Service Tax (LST) to local Governments for both self-employed and employed professionals.
To this end, ICPAU contends that the principles of taxation (fairness, affordability and the avoidance of double taxation) should be taken in consideration, in order to promote the ease of doing business.
ICPAU also suggested amendments in the Companies Act, 2012 regarding: the form of registration of a company, the provision of comprehensive details pertaining to mergers and acquisitions, and the introduction of cross border amalgamation provisions.