Court Lifts Ban On URA’s Digital Stamp Implementation

High Court has dismissed with costs an interim application seeking to block the government and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) from implementing and enforcing the Digital Tracking Systems (Tax Stamps).

Justice Musa Ssekaana of Civil Division of High Court on Tuesday dismissed the application filed by Alcohol Association of Uganda and 38 companies led by Nile Breweries Limited-NBL arguing that courts cannot grant an injunction which will have the effect of suspending the operation of the legislation.

“Suspending the operation of a law that has not been declared unconstitutional is a very serious matter. The grant of this application would amount to just that and this would be without hearing any evidence”, said Ssekaana. He said the laws are made for the good of the State and the power to tax as quite rightly pointed out by the Attorney General is a power upon which the entire fabric of society is based.

“The courts should consider and take into account a wider public interest. The Public bodies should not be prevented from exercising the powers conferred under the Statute unless the person seeking an injunction can establish that the public authority is acting unlawfully”, he said.

URA effective the Financial Year 2019/2020 announced the implementation of digital stamps on beers, sodas wines and other soft drinks with an aim of addressing issues related to tax avoidance, counterfeit goods and forgery. However, Last month, the Alcohol Association of Uganda, 38 manufacturing companies led by Nile Breweries Limited -NBL ran to court seeking to block the implementation arguing that the actions to launch and enforce the Digital Tracking Systems-DTS pursuant to the Tax Procedures Code (Tax Stamps) Regulations, 2018 is illegal and therefore unenforceable.u.r.n

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