By John Kusolo Mulokwa.
Wabyona Jackson Rubanjwa, an accountant aged 40 years and a resident of Lumuli Zone Goma Division in Mukono District has been sentenced to 8 years in prison over tax fraud after his appeal was dismissed by the Anti-Corruption Court on 07/June/2023. This follows the court’s decision to uphold the conviction and sentence him to prison on five (05) counts of making false statements to a tax officer contrary to Section 58(1) (a) of the Tax Procedures Code Act, 2014 and use of a false Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).
It should be remembered that Wabyona was arrested by URA’s intelligence team in December 2022 following investigations into tax matters of companies that were suspected of involving in fictitious supplies. According to Mr. Denis Kugonza – Commissioner of Tax Investigations at URA, Wabyona Jackson made fictitious supplies of UGX.24,923,197,428 to 86 persons causing a tax loss of UGX.4,486,175,542 to the country.
He committed this offense as the accountant of Sun Mutual Capital Limited where he was entrusted with filing the company’s VAT returns. It is also revealed that during the period January 2018 and June 2021, while filing monthly VAT returns for Sun Mutual Capital Limited, Jackson Wabyona made fictitious supplies worth UGX. 25,304,417,083 to sixty-four (64) persons.
This caused a tax loss of UGX. 4,543,325,065 to the Government of Uganda. It is further revealed that between October 2019 and March 2022, while filing monthly VAT returns for Jireh Hardware and Construction (2014) Ltd, Jackson purportedly made false purchases worth UGX. 3,635,734,147 from Sun Mutual Capital Limited which caused tax loss of UGX. 654,432,146 to government of Uganda.
On another count between January 2018 to April 2022; Wabyona Jackson knowingly and falsely used the TIN of Sun Mutual Capital Limited to generate and issue false supply invoices amounting to UGX. 50,227,614,511 thereby causing a tax loss of UGX. 9,029,500,609 to the Government of Uganda. URA’s advice to the General Public; As this Financial Year (2022-23) comes to an end, URA management encourages taxpayers to file all their tax returns and pay all due taxes before 30 th June, 2023.
When you do this accurately, there are benefits that are associated with being compliant. Taxpayers are also encouraged to always guard the password of their TINs. Don’t share your TIN’s password with anyone because someone might use your account for dubious transactions and land you into problems. All businessmen, are encouraged to have a keen interest in the affairs of their businesses to ensure that returns are correctly filed and reviewed by the due date of submission.
Clients should minimize the use of cash transactions/cash payment systems because they don’t leave enough evidence to help explain their business transactions with URA. Businesses are called upon to desist from issuing fictitious invoices that are not part of the business in their accounts. This will invite URA to look into their tax affairs and cause an investigation or audit.
Taxpayers should embrace the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS) because it enables them to track and validate business transactions in real time for efficient business management. The solution eliminates the risk of physical loss of tax invoices as transactional data or copies are digitally stored in the system.