UCC Defends Social Media Tax As Necessary, URA Ready to Collect

Victoria Bagaaya

Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has defended the Social media tax saying it is already in use in other countries

Addressing a press conference at his office the executive director Godfrey Mutabazi said international companies are reaping billions from social media and its time government gets a share of the revenue.

On the second day of the implementation of the social media tax, with outburst coming from different parts of the country, Uganda communications commission has come out to defend the move.

According to UCC’s  ED Godfrey Mutabazi it has been long overdue since its already being implemented elsewhere

Ugandans will be required to pay shs 200 per day access social media for 24 hours which could be considered rather a small pinch, but some have resorted to Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) as a sign of defiance than fuel the wrong pocket.

Mutabazi says even though it may not be illegal to use these alternative options to access social media, this will not last long.

Mutabazi argues, “It might not be illegal to use the VPNs but by law, if they are going to use social media in Uganda, they have to pay the tax. But first of all people are paying more when using those VPNs, it’s unreliable, but they are working with telecom companies to wipe them out one by one.”

He goes on to add, “If those that don’t want to pay the tax have the time to keep digging up new VPNs, let them go ahead. But there are Ugandans who are compliant and paying the tax and still revenue will be got. ”

A private system that is only accessible to UCC will be used to control and monitor the daily tax transactions which will enable government to keep track of the revenue

Ian Rumanyika, PR Operations, Uganda Revenue Authority, says, “URA has the capacity to audit and so they will work with telecom companies and UCC to ensure smooth operations.”

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