Uganda News

URA demands Bobi Wine Ugx 330m for armored car

Tax body, Uganda Revenue Authority has written to National Unity Platform leader, Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine demanding shs337 million from him for under-declaring his armored vehicle.

Kyagulanyi earlier this month handed over the vehicle to URA for a fresh tax reassessment after direction by the High Court in Kampala.

In an April ,22,2021 letter to Kyagulanyi’s lawyers of Wameli and Co Advocates, the Commissioner for Customs Department, Abel Kagumire says the former presidential candidate under-declared the vehicle as an ordinary one while importing it whereas it is armored and consequently shs337 million to URA in taxes.

“It was established that the declaration made appraised a customs value of $166,700 with tax payable of shs337 million. Please advise your client to liaise with the office of the Assistant Commissioner for Enforcement who by copy hereof is requested is requested to facilitate payment of due taxes and release of your client’s vehicle accordingly,” Kagumire said.

According to URA, re-evaluation found out that the Toyota Land Cruiser V8 registration number UBJ 667F imported into Uganda as an ordinary vehicle has details of ballistic protection in which its window upper plate is 90 millimeters whereas it has six millimeters for its bottom hull, making it armored, contrary to what was declared.

The tax body says the shs337 million has to be paid by Kyagulanyi before the vehicle is returned to him.

Drags feet

However, in a post made on his social media accounts on Thursday, Kyagulanyi insisted that he is being witch-hunted by the state.

He explained that on importation, the vehicle was first taken to the Directorate of Interpol at Kololo, Police Forensics department at Naguru and later URA that all verified and cleared it without any query on top of paying the required taxes.

“At first, all was good because it wasn’t in my name. Hell broke loose when they discovered it was my car. That’s when they claimed it was undervalued and demanded I return it. Today they wrote asking me to pay this incredibly high sum of money. Like I have said before, when you fight against Museveni, all state institutions gang up against you, because they’ve been personalized,”Kyagulanyi said.

URA earlier said the vehicle passed through their system as an ‘ordinary car’ and therefore under-valued at Shs157,925,502.

Following the latest development, Kyagulanyi’s supporters have since promised to help fundraise for the former presidential candidate to help him pay the taxes.

Background

Trouble started when Kyagulanyi in February unveiled the armored vehicle that he said its purchase had been bankrolled by his supporters.

“There is another group of comrades who kick-started a fundraising campaign for a bulletproof vehicle. These comrades informed me of their plan, but I thought it was an uphill task, given how expensive it is. A few weeks ago, these comrades surprised me when they informed me that they had succeeded in raising enough money for the vehicle, and here it is. I can’t thank you enough,”Kyagulanyi posted on his social media pages on the morning of February 21, 2021.

Following the revelation, security started investigating circumstances under which the armored vehicle had been cleared without their knowledge and permission.

Consequently, URA wrote to Kyagulanyi recalling his armored car for tax reverification.

However, Kyagulanyi, challenged the same in the High Court by court later ruled that there was nothing to lose for the tax body to carry out another evaluation process on the vehicle.

It remains to be seen whether the runner-up in the January 14 polls will accept to pay the shs330 million demanded by URA in taxes so as to secure the armored vehicle that he says was bankrolled by his supporters to beef up his security.

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