Social media tax stays, as Mobile money tax reduces to 0.5%– Cabinet Decides

Posted: 2018-07-17T09:20:16Z
Social media tax stays, as Mobile money tax reduces to 0.5%– Cabinet Decides

Ugandans will continue paying the 200 Shillings daily tax to access social media apps, Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp among others.

The decision was reached at during a cabinet seating on Monday at State House Entebbe. While presenting cabinet decisions to the press at Uganda media centre this morning, ICT Minister Frank Tumwebaze together with the junior Finance Minister David Bahati said the tax is meant to raise more revenue for the country.
However, a better payment method instead of the daily inconveniencing bill will be figured out, according to minister Bahati.

“We now have 10 million users on OTT/Social media tax, and there is no tax on internet. We want to get more options so that you can pay quarterly, annually as opposed to the daily, weekly and monthly subscriptions). We want to facilitate that access so that payment becomes more convenient” Bahati said.

However, the same seating approved the reduction of tax on mobile money transactions from 1% to 0.5% and only on withdraws. This is meant to raise 118billion Shillings this financial year. 

“Logically, there is no money on sending because not all the money you send is on payout. If I am sending it to you, I will factor in withdraw charges. If I use my phone to pay utility bills and school fees, I am not charged money, so I am relieved of that burden” Tumwebaze explained. 

In the aftermath of the passing of Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill 2018, several Ugandans criticized the taxes claiming masses were being taxed into poverty. Last week, several youths held a demonstration in Kampala against the social media tax which is viewed by many as a move to deny Ugandans freedom of speech and expression.

The cabinet decisions remain for discussion in Parliament this Thursday, when Prime Minister Fr. Ruhakana Rugunda presents them before members.