1 July 2018

Ugandans Seek to Dodge Social Media Tax

Photo: Pixabay
(file photo)

Ugandan are devising ways of evading the infamous social media tax that came into effect at midnight, July 1, 2018.

According to a random survey on social media done by the Daily Monitor, several people had resorted to Virtual Private Network (VPN) to bypass paying the daily excise duty charge on Over-The-Top (OTT) services.

The Daily Monitor on Saturday conducted an opinion poll on its Twitter handle engaging its audience on how prepared they were to pay the social media tax.

According to the poll results, 19 per cent of the 581 followers who participated said they would spend less time on social media, 11 per cent said they would stop using social media while 70 per cent said they would resort to using VPN.

Educational purposes

The new tax compels every Uganda visiting any social media platform to pay $0.05 (Shs200) daily, $0.36 (Shs1,400) weekly or $1,56 (Shs6,000) monthly as excise duty.

The government of Uganda announced in the budget for the financial year 2018/2019, that it would charge those using over the top services or sites that offer voice and messaging over the internet $0.05.

In his letter directing the Uganda Revenue Authority and Ministry of Finance to tax social media, President Yoweri Museveni argued that most Ugandans using social media were rumour mongers.

Transaction value

He, however, promised to exempt those using it for educational purposes. But critics question how he would determine those using it for educational purposes.

The government also mandated the telecom companies to charge 1 per cent tax of the transaction value of the services on the mobile money.

More on This

World Bank Lauds Uganda On Social Media Tax

World Bank senior economist for Uganda Richard Ancrum Walker says he is impressed with the public debate around proposed… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 The East African. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.