Gov’t to drop OTT tax and Introduce a tax on all internet bundles

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has proposed a tax on internet bundles (data) instead of collecting OTT.

This was revealed by Doris Akol the URA commissioner general in a meeting with the Parliamentary Finance Committee while presenting the budget framework paper for the Financial Year 2020/2021.

While appearing before Parliament’s finance committee today, URA commissioner general Doris Akol revealed that OTT Tax is not performing well due to the high rates of evasion by Ugandans and suggested it should be scrapped.

She, however, proposed amending the Excise Duty Act to make it possible to tax mobile data to counteract OTT evasion

It should be noted OTT tax was introduced to widen the tax base of Uganda and reduce on wasting time by youth on social media.

Many politicians and activists fought against the Tax which they termed as limiting people’s expression and freedom of speech.

Currently, there is no tax on mobile data usage but voice calls attract 12 percent excise duty. Fixed lines are charged five percent while Value Added Services (like sending short code messages for services like love tips and soccer results) attract 20 percent tax.

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Muwanga Ronald is editor in chief of the UGANDANZ news website. He was formerly editorial director of UGANDANZ.COM, overseeing the publication’s digital operations. Before joining UGANDANZ in December 2018, Ronald was managing editor of NILE HOST In 2014, he was a finalist for the UJA Awards for Young Journalists for his reporting on the women's emancipation. Under his leadership NILE HOST won Media Industry Newsletter's Best of the Web award in 2018. A graduate of Makerere University, Ronald speaks Luganda and French and lives in Kampala with his wife and two children.