28 VAT fraudsters charged with filing fictitious tax returns
By Wod Omoro
After analyzing information that was received about a suspected tax fraud scheme that involves companies dealing in fictitious VAT returns, URA’s intelligence team embarked on a hunt to prove the truthfulness of the allegation.
When Wallnetnews contacted URA Commissioner Tax Investigations Kugonza Denis Kateeba, he confirmed that the team was able to establish a number of companies that had falsely claimed purchases from Hokmah International limited; a company that deals in plastic products.
Upon further investigations, according to well placed sources at URA, more details emerged indicating that it was the company’s auditor – Mugoya Saad who had filed and declared fictitious VAT returns to include false transactions of building materials which the company does not deal in.
It was established that 28 taxpayers falsely claimed input VAT worth Ugx1.7b in relation to purchases made from Hokmah International Limited.
The case was referred to the Anti-Corruption Court where the directors of beneficiaries are being charged on grounds of making false or misleading statements according to Section.58 of the Tax Procedures Code Act, 2014.
Under the amended Tax Procedures Code Act (2022), any taxpayer who is found guilty of making false or misleading statements to URA, is fined UGX. 110M. The fine was increased from Ugx4,000,000 from the previous financial year. Therefore, given the weight of the revised custodial sentences and fines in the new tax amendments of this Financial Year, taxpayers are encouraged to desist from any form of tax fraud.