Starting 1st July 2018 which is two days from now, Ugandans will have to pay an excise tax of Ugx 200 ($0.052) daily for use of Over-The-Top (OTT) services. Already three mobile telecoms including MTN, Airtel and Africell Uganda have shared a directive from the Government of Uganda about the new Social Media tax.
According to the directive, OTT service include all applications or Apps that offer voice and messaging services over the internet. Over 50 services including Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, SnapChat, Instagram, Skype, LinkedIN will be affected.
President Museveni proposed the taxes earlier this year to cub on Lugambo or gossip among social media users. A total revenue of about Ugx 400 billion to Ugx 1.4 trillion is expected to be collected from social media users annually.
“I am not going to propose anything on internet use for educational, research or reference purposes… these must remain free. However, olugambo on social media (opinions, prejudices, insults, friendly chats) and advertisements by Google and I do not know who else must pay tax because we need resources to cope with the consequences of their lugambo,” Mr Museveni wrote according to the Daily Monitor.
The social media tax follows yet another 1% excise duty on mobile money transactions which was passed last month.
MTN Uganda announcement on Facebook page
Airtel Uganda announcement on Facebook page
Africell Uganda announcement
Related post: What are Over the top (OTT) services?
How pay the OTT/Social media tax
Mobile subscribers are expected to pay the tax via various Mobile money platforms.
No charge will be levied on the transactions. You will be charged 1% excise duty on the Mobile Money transaction required to pay the OTT Tax. That means you will effectively have to pay Ugx 202 in total per day
- *185*2*5# for Airtel
- *165*2*5# (MTN)
- *133*6# (Africell EVC)
- *144*2*5# (Africell Money).