On Day three of a wild fire, the fire extinguisher seems to turn up. The beginning of July has defined that Ugandans using social media are obliged to pay an excise OTT 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 started following the directive from the Government of Uganda in regards to the new Social Media tax.
Smile Communications, which has been literally silent since the whole scene broke out, has broken the silence with some good news. While other clients strive to fulfill the tax requirements, Smile customers will sit back and relax as the company is paying it all – as according to their Facebook and Twitter posts.
“We have got you covered!! Following the introduction of OTT tax, commonly referred to as “Social Media Tax” that was effected 1st July 2018 by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), we are pleased to inform you that as a valued customer of Smile, we will pay this new tax on your behalf. Just continue to purchase and use Smile Bundles like you used to in the past. There is NO need for additional subscription steps to access and enjoy Social Media services from Smile!!”
Related Post: VPNs aren’t OTT services but will still be blocked unless you pay OTT Tax in Uganda
How pay the Social media/OTT tax
According to the directive issued, 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. You can look out for the full list here.
Mobile subscribers from other telecom networks are expected to pay the tax via various Mobile money platforms. 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).
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