Understanding Mobile Money Tax in Uganda: What it cost before and Now

mobile money

With effect from 1 July 2018, as according to the tax proposals contained in the Excise Duty Act of 2018, “A tax of 1 0.5 per cent of the value of the transaction will apply on mobile money transactions on receiving money, sending money, making payments and withdrawals of money”. This precisely means that 1 0.5 per cent of the value of your money will be deducted every time you withdraw from your mobile money account.

The basic understanding would be that when you receive or deposit money in your mobile money account, government will tax 1 per cent of it. When you withdraw money from your mobile money account, or send it to another mobile user, government will tax off 0.5 per cent of the money.

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What Mobile Money cost before taxes

Let’s use a basic example of UGX 100,000 you have in cash and would like to send it over to your relative in the village.

Earlier, making a deposit on your mobile has been free of charge. This implies that you would get the entire UGX 100,000 to your mobile money account. Sending this amount would cost you UGX 1,500 as long as the receiver is registered. This would result in them receiving UGX 98,500. A withdraw of this would cost UGX 1,950, leaving them with a net of UGX 96,550.

What Mobile Money costs after taxes

With the new 0.5% levy on withdraw transactions, the money your relative will receive is less.

When you deposit the UGX 100,000 on your mobile, 1,000 will be deducted as deposit tax. This leaves you with UGX 99,000. You will be charged UGX 1,500 to send it, with your relative receiving UGX 98,500 and taxed 975  for withdrawal. A withdraw of this would cost UGX 1,950 and a tax of 493, leaving them with a net of UGX 96,057.

The Mobile Money tax is just one of the numerous new tax forms imposed on Ugandans, starting with this financial year. The other is an excise tax of Ugx 200 ($0.052) daily for use of Over-The-Top (OTT) services. According to the directive shared by telecom companies, the taxed OTT services 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.

Since paying the OTT tax is also via Mobile Money, you will be charged 1% excise duty on the Mobile Money transaction required to pay. will not be taxed as according to the ammendments. That means you will effectively have to pay Ugx 200 in total per day.

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Image: Daily Monitor


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