Troubled Pioneer Gets One Month Lifeline

Tax body Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has extended the deadline for auction of the pioneer buses that was due to take place this Wednesday.

The extension was arrived at, after negotiations with the bus company yielded fruit to pay back the 8 billion shillings owed to URA in unpaid taxes.

The communication from URA says the deadline has been extended for 30 days to allow for negotiations with the bus company to continue.

The 30-day extension is short of two months from the 3 months grace period the bus company had requested to resolve the outstanding arrears in a March 19th letter. The letter, among many things, was a request to the revenue authority to grant the bus company a three-month grace period to resolve a contract hurdle with KCCA before they can fully pay all dues.

John Masanda, one of the company directors also author of the letter, requested for a release of the buses to enable the company raise revenues during the three-month grace period. However this request has been rejected by the revenue authority and only 30 days have been given for the dues to be cleared.

URA impounded 98 pioneer buses last month after the bus company failed to clear outstanding arrears of up to 8 billion shillings which was meant to cater for their importation revenues.

The tax body then settled for a memorandum of understanding with Pioneer Easy Bus limited which was violated by the bus company leading to their impounding.

The bus company has been working around the clock to have the dues cleared with little success before the auction date that was due this morning.

URA is slated to release a full communiqué on the matter soon.

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