A high-profile customs dispute has emerged in Uganda after human rights lawyer Nicholas Opiyo received a personalized Manchester United jersey as a gift for the upcoming 2023/2024 season. The controversy centers around the tax imposed by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) on the shirt, which Opiyo has deemed excessive and unjust.
Taking to social media, Nicholas Opiyo expressed his frustration with the taxation on the gifted jersey. In a tweet, he stated, “A friend gifted me a personalized Third Machester (sic) United jersey for the 2023/2024 season. He sent it via DHL. @URAuganda is asking me to pay 400,000 UGX in tax for a shirt worth 70 pounds. I’ve told them to give the shirt to the Commissioner General of URA to wear. The prawl-taxing tactics of the authority have to be pointed out. I will not be exploited like that. No.”
A friend gifted me a personalized Third Machester United jersey for the 2023/2024 season. He sent it via DHL. @URAuganda is asking me to pay 400,000 UGX in tax for a shirt worth 70 pounds. I’ve told them to give the shirt to the Commissioner General of URA to wear. The…
— Nicholas Opiyo (Pronouns He/Him) (@nickopiyo) September 1, 2023
The @URAuganda tweeting folks/heads may not get you the answers to the tax computation in a timely manner. They may not be tax literate & maybe waiting to be told what to tweet (keyword maybe). A kind unnamed Ugandan (arsenal fan) who went through this process shared his… pic.twitter.com/27WCJqdP3L
— Nicholas Opiyo (Pronouns He/Him) (@nickopiyo) September 2, 2023
Opiyo’s tweet has sparked a public debate on social media, with many expressing support for his stance against what they see as exorbitant taxation on personal gifts. The URA has been criticized for its handling of the situation, with some arguing that such taxation is unreasonable and detrimental to the spirit of gift-giving.
In response to the controversy, the Uganda Revenue Authority spokesperson justified the tax quote which further raised more heat from the public. The URA defended its taxation policy, emphasizing that customs duties are determined based on the assessed value of imported goods and applicable tax rates.
As the conversation continues to unfold on social media and beyond, it remains to be seen whether a resolution can be reached that satisfies both Nicholas Opiyo and the Uganda Revenue Authority.