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URA gets serious on taxing artistes


When Uganda Revenue Authority talked about taxing musicians, many took it for a joke. But the tax collectors have since proved their point. URA started off with Jose Chameleone, and the singer panicked when he received a letter from court bailiffs indicating they would confiscate his property if he didn’t clear URA arrears! Chameleone who had last year claimed he could not pay taxes because he was earning off his talent acted fast and met with URA commissioners and settled some of the money he owes.

The URA have since launched operations to levy tax per ticket on all entertainment events. Comedian Patrick Salvado Idringi and his team were shocked when a group of people turned up at their Africa Laughs comedy show in August and introduced themselves as URA officials. Salvado paid several millions of shillings to URA.

At Bebe Cool’s recent Kokodiosis concert, he got away from URA officials after a scuffle with police but they have already issued him a demand notice including arrears accruing from previous concerts,apparently totaling to Shs50m.

And although her Tebiba Bingi album launch concert did not live up to its billing, URA did not have any sympathies for Iryn Namubiru. The singer could not believe what she was seeing when court bailiffs from Kamugisha Agencies served her a notice indicating they were towing her car, a black Toyota Land Cruiser Cygnus, UAR 516F over unpaid taxes that they claimed amounted to about Shs19m. This was as she put final touches to the forgettable concert.

According to Niwagaba Mukasa, the head of the court bailiffs, “URA is demanding Shs19m from Iryn Namubiru’s concerts from as far as 2011.”

Balam, the organiser of Iryn’s concert tried to talk to the bailiffs but they were not about to listen to him. He made a few calls and the bailiffs stopped towing the car. Iryn and Balam were seen at the URA in Nakawa earlier this week. A source told us that Iryn is in the process of making payments to get back her car that was URA still at URA offices by press time. When contacted, Iryn’s manager Thadeus Mubiru declined to comment on the issue.

According to our sources Bebe Cool and Bobi Wine have started talks with URA to clear their tax arrears before the tax body swings into action.

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