Kampala, Uganda | URN | Professional bodies are crying foul over the amendment of the Stamp Duty tax. On April 14th, Parliament passed new measures in the Stamp Duty Amendment Bill, 2020.
Under the amendment, all professionals will have to pay stamp duty of 100,000 shillings on each of their professional licences or certificates, in addition to the annual membership and subscription fees they pay to the statutory bodies that regulate them or professional bodies of which they are members.
The professionals under their different bodies who include lawyers, medical doctors, architects, veterinary doctors, surveyors and pharmacists say the increase in stamp duty is a form of double taxation. They want President Yoweri Museveni not to assent to the bill.
Dr Richard Idro, the President of the Uganda Medical Association says that professionals are already paying fess in professional bodies part of which goes to the government consolidated fund.
There are over 100,000 professionals that are registered in different professional bodies. If they are taxed stamp duty, the government will get an extra ten billion from the professionals on top of other taxes such as Pay As You Earn and local service tax.
If the bill is assented to by the president, lawyers who have been paying 557,000 shillings for registration fees, annual practicing fee and membership fees with professional bodies will now pay 657,000 shillings.
Dr Samuel Opio, the general secretary of the Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda says that the increase in taxes will affect service delivery.
Fiona Wall, the Vice President of the Uganda Law Society says that as professionals who are affected by the increase in taxes, consultations should be done before the President assents to the bill.
Audit firm Price Waterhouse Coopers says the new tax amendment will increase the fees that professionals need to pay to practice.