Uganda’s Social Media Tax is Leaving People Disconnected — And Failing to Meet Revenue Targets

Posted on February 9, 2019 10:16 am

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By James Propa

The number of people using the Internet in Uganda has dropped by more than 12 percentage points since July 2018, when the country’s so-called “social media tax” was put into force.

Prior to the tax’s implementation, 47.4 percent of people in Uganda were using the Internet. Three months after the tax was put in place, that number had fallen to 35 percent.

The tax resulted from an Excise Duty Bill passed in parliament in May 2018, which allows Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to tax users’ access to IP-based over-the-top (OTT) communication services, including all major social media services.