Mobile money dealers under their umbrella body “Kampala Mobile Money Dealers Association (U) have petitioned the speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga against the 1% tax recently levied on mobile money transactions.
In their petition, the dealers indicate that government has been taxing mobile money business and companies.
“For a record, government has been taxing withholding tax of 6% from commission of an agent. If an agent got a commission of UGX 1,000,000 government took 60,000 shillings. On record last year, last financial year, 2017/18, government got over UGX 5 billion from agents. 2018/19 financial year, this tax has been increased from 6% to 10%, government is expecting over 15 billion Shillings” the petition reads.Accor
ding to the petitioners, if government maintains the existing withholding and excise taxes, mobile money will yield more returns and create more employment opportunities for youths.
They also argue that over 2,000,000 youths both literate and illiterate will lose their jobs, leading to the increase in burglaries and murders since people will be keeping cash onto themselves rather than saving it on mobile money.
“We are Ugandans, non-partisan on their issues, we have loans, families, orphans, elderly, working premises’ bills etc. the only income we have is mobile money business upon which a heavy tax, if levied, Uganda’s GDP growth and Vision 2040 will be affected equally” they wrote.
The traders who marched in Kampala were holding placards some of them reading, “1% is leading to unemployment, why tax us to that extent, and MPs don’t know what they passed” among others.
Lukyamuzi Mathias the chairman of the association says they had petitioned the speaker way back, but it yielded nothing.
“The MPs passed this bill, they didn’t know the effect of this Bill, so today we are marching to the parliament to petition the speaker the second time about this 1% bill for the second time. It is not saving our economy, it is putting us down” Lukyamuzi said.
The petitioners want the tax recalled. They explained that at the end of the transaction, one pays 3% unlike the 1% people believe they are actually paying.