The government of Uganda has effective July 1 2018 introduced a new tax under Excise duty amendment act 2018 that was passed by the parliament this year. Under the new tax arrangement, one has to pay a daily tax of Uganda shillings 200 to access social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Google plus among others. The tax generated country wide condemnation and several Ugandans who cannot afford the tax decided to quit social media.
According to the report in the daily monitor, the government received 4.4 billion as remittance from the social media tax (OTT) for the month of July.
The figure 4.4 billion in one month is a clear indication that the tax has failed. Just to put this into perspective, 4 billion is so little an amount that the same amount was stolen from Makerere’s account and they got to know of it only months later – according to the daily monitor.
The projected revenue from OTT annually was 284 billion. At an average of 4.4 billion, the government will get 52.8 billion annually, about 231.2 billion shot of the initial projection.
Given the chaos around the tax, the backlash, the demonstrations, the mockery of Uganda in the international arena, etcetera, we can say the tax is a nonstarter.
In case you missed this story; Government has gone back to the drawing board over social media tax.