By Nganda Kizito
The footballers in Uganda’s top flight, the Uganda Premier League (UPL) and those in the second tier, the Fufa Big League are no longer going to be enjoying tax holidays on their earnings.
On Saturday August 1, Moses Magogo, the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (Fufa) boss, announced, that UPL and Big League players would be paying income tax, commonly known as Pay As You Earn (P.A.Y.E), and remitting 15% of their salary to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).
This takes effect in the 2020/2021 Financial Year. Magogo said this at the Fufa offices in Mengo, during a consultative meeting with players from different clubs. While the major talking points from this meeting were about player branding, professionalism, and intermediaries, Magogo confirmed, that a new order had set in.
“We received a communication from government, that footballers have got to start paying income tax, and the NSSF dues,” Magogo said. He added, that such had not been the case in the past. But after it was realized, that football in Uganda had become professional, and that it is only normal, that government deems it fit to start taxing professional footballers.
It should be noted, that the threshold for taxing any Ugandan, that is employed, is Shs 223,000. In fact, 10% is paid as income tax. According to Vincent Seruma, the Head of Public and Corporate Affairs at Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), there is an objective to widen the tax base of the country for better service delivery.
Yet, to achieve that, Seruma added, there cannot be just some people paying taxes while others do not, even when they are gainfully employed. That said, Seruma outlined how it was incumbent on the football clubs, that employ the footballers, to ensure that the taxes are remitted. Otherwise, the liability will be on the employers of the footballers, when payments are not paid.