Tuesday, July 3, 2018

"Uproar as Uganda telecom companies implement mobile money, social media taxes"

I suppose that's a risk with online stuff.

From the Daily Monitor (Kampala), July 1:
“When I woke up, I was surprised that I had not received any messages on my Whatsapp or messenger. I could not login to my Twitter account either. This was strange given the fact that I had just bought 10 GB of data two days ago. I was about to call my telecom service provider then I remembered it is July 1, 2018, the day when government said it would implement social media tax on orders of our President,” one Dan Mugeni wrote on his Facebook wall.
Active social media users in Uganda
Mugeni is one of the 2.6 million active mobile Social Media users in Uganda who are bashing government over what they have described as ridiculous tax. He says he was only able to write the post after paying the Shs200 through mobile money.
Like Mugeni, several Mobile Money and Social Media users in Uganda are currently desperate after telecomm companies implemented taxes on mobile money and social media as mandated by the government.
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.
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 rumour 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)....MUCH MORE