Uganda’s Revenue Authority boss, Doris Akol has denied reports that the country has imposed taxes on Bibles and Korans.
The Daily Monitor had reported that the revenue authority imposed the taxes on these books after discussions over the new directive between religious groups and the tax authorities.
The Ugandan Revenue Authority boss, Doris Akol on twitter responded to concerns from some Ugandans saying that the report was “Fake news. The amendments are actually intended to exempt Bibles and Qur’ans. Ref. VAT Amendment Act 2018”.
Fake news. The amendments are actually intended to exempt Bibles and Qur’ans. Ref. VAT Amendment Act 2018
— Doris Akol (@URA_CG) May 15, 2018
Akol had previously said that it was an “anomaly” that the religious books were not taxed in the past.
Meanwhile the Uganda parliament has also reacted to the news saying Finance Minister David Bahati had clarified the issue.
The twitter handle of the Ugandan parliament was quoted as saying that ” there will be no such tax as this would mean standing in the way of spreading the word of God”.
Hon David Bahati has clarified on the article published in the @DailyMonitor alleging that govt has levied tax on bibles and Qurans. He says there will be no such tax as this would mean ‘standing in the way of spreading the word of God’ #PlenaryUg pic.twitter.com/tM55jqPGyw
— Parliament of Uganda (@Parliament_Ug) May 15, 2018
The secretary-general of the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, Joshua Kitakule who was angry with the earlier announced move told the Daily Monitor that religious books “are not meant for profit; so, it is erroneous to tax them”.
The secretary-general of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, Ramathan Mugalu is also quoted by the Daily Monitor to have reacted to the move by saying that the government has “gone too far”.
He asked “How can you tax the word of God?”
Bibles are sold in Uganda for $0.80 but that could increase to $170 if the reported imposition of taxes had taken effect.