Uganda government has started implementing the social media tax law that was introduced some days ago. The implementation was made effective at midnight, July 1, 2018.
The new social media tax affects social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Instagram, Viber, and Skype among others.
In the Budget for the financial year 2018/2019, the government of Uganda announced that it would charge those using over the top services or sites that offer voice and messaging over the internet, Shs200 daily.
Reason For The Social Media Tax Law
In his letter directing the Uganda Revenue Authority and Ministry of Finance to tax social media, President Museveni argued that most Ugandans using social are rumor mongers. He, however, promised to exempt those using it for educational purposes. But critics question how he will determine those using it for educational purposes.
The government also mandated the telecom companies to charge 1% tax of the transaction value of the services on the mobile money.
How To Pay The Social Media Tax
Payment for social media, according to a joint statement from three of the leading telecom companies in Uganda, MTN, Airtel and Africell, can be made via mobile money. This can be done by dialling *185*2*5# for Airtel, and *165*2*5# for MTN. The tax is Shs200 and can be paid daily, weekly (1400), or monthly (6000).
The joint statement further states that 1 percent tax would be charged from whoever deposits, receives, pays and withdrawals the money using mobile money.
“Normal transaction fees and charges apply on all services until further notice,” the statement reads in part.
This therefore means that payments for bills of other services like electricity, Television, School fees and others will also be taxed.