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Ugandan commercial banks have defied the country’s tax body to give it all account details of their clients.

The banks through their umbrella organization Uganda Bankers Association (UBA) said complying with the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) directive could expose them to legal liability.

“The request for information contained in the notices raises a number of legal issues concerning constitutionally protected fundamental rights which could expose the member financial institutions to legal liability,” UBA said in a statement issued on Sunday.

The association said it would go to court to protest the constitutionality of the various provisions of the tax law relied on by URA in its demand notice.

UBA’s reaction followed three letters last month from URA directing banks to offer information concerning all bank accounts held for the years 2016 and 2017 on the basis of the Tax Procedures Act of 2014.

“We wish to reassure all customers and stakeholders that the UBA members will continue to observe and maintain their contractual obligation of confidentiality and to uphold and protect their customers’ rights to privacy as they seek to have this matter positively resolved,” the UBA statement said.

The country’s President Yoweri Museveni recently accused the finance ministry of failing to explore new avenues for tax collection, prompting the ministry to respond with several new tax proposals. Enditem

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