By Ali Twaha
Farmers, like all businesses, have the obligation of registering their businesses with authorities including key institutions such as the Uganda Revenue Authority, the Uganda Registration Services Bureau.
Getting a Tax Identification Number (TIN) is one of the key requirements to be tax compliant. Thus, if you are practicing or plan to do agriculture on a commercial basis, you needed a TIN as soon as yesterday.
A TIN, which comprises of a 10-digit number, will acts as your account (similar to a bank account) with the URA. It is obtained “free of charge” according to taxman.
Why is a TIN important?
The government has streamlined many of its operations to minimise tax leakages and rope-in more firms into the tax net.
Registering for a TIN ensures that as a commercial farmer, you are paying the appropriate taxes, filing tax returns on time, and keeping accurate financial records.
Today, registered businesses are more likely to have access to government support programs such as subsidies, grants, and loans. These programs often require proof of registration with tax authorities.
Without a TIN, you cannot import or export goods within and outside Uganda, claim tax benefits that accrue to you such as tax refunds or get a bank loan.
It may also be challenging for you to get a trading license from local governments or Kampala Capital City Authority. You cannot have a motor vehicle in your name without a TIN.
“It has been observed that whereas the main players at the top of the chain are tax compliant, for example, the players in the dairy sector who have increasingly contributed to tax (tax growth of 57% from 14bn in 2014/15 compared to 22bn in 2015/16), the other players in the industry such as the farmers (milk suppliers), transporters and others in the chain, have not complied in regard to registration for taxes,” URA notes in a report.
How you can get a TIN
For commercial farmers to register for a TIN, a business registration certificate is required. For individuals a national identification, driving permit among other is required.
For a non-individual, Certificate of Incorporation/certificate of registration, Company Form 20 showing the directors of the company, and any other legal documents that confirm existence.
A TIN can be acquired through any of the processes below;
- Through the URA Web portal.
- Download the appropriate registration form (Individual or Non Individual).
- Complete the form by filling in the mandatory fields (boxes).
- Upload and submit online the completed form.
- Receive an acknowledgment notice.
- Print a copy of the form and sign it and together with the necessary attachments.
- Submit to the nearest URA office.