This morning during the weekly press conference at the Uganda Media Centre, the state minister for Finance David Bahati said, “The Mobile Money Tax is a small but affordable contribution, not a punishment.”
Bahati added that the country should finance its budget 100% and promised to account for the tax collected.
“Government is implementing the Excise Duty Amendments for Telecommunication 2018/2019 as a small contribution of citizens towards development of their country,” he said
The mobile money and social media tax among other taxes came into effect on 1 July 2018, have caused an uproar among citizens. The taxes are expected to raise 284 and 115 billion shillings respectively.
Bahati advised against the use of VPNs to avoid the social media tax saying ‘it’s more expensive using VPNs than simply paying the Social Media Tax of Ugshs 200.”
He added that they have contacted Uganda Communications Commissions to stop the usage of VPNs to access social media.
The minister said that as government they acknowledge that the social media tax is very inconvenient to pay and with time they will devise better ways to pay for the Excise Duty Amendments for Telecommunication 2018/2019.
On the mobile money tax, the minister said “The Tax Point on Mobile Money is only by licensed operators. Section 13(f) 1% on Mobile Money transfers states this newly introduced excise duty on Mobile Money transactions of receiving, payments and withdrawal.
Yesterday, a group of six individuals sued government for imposing a tax on social media, the group in its petition said that the new tax limits access to social media and in turn violates the right to freedom of expression, public participation, political mobilization, peaceful assembly and unarmed demonstration.