Uganda’s authorities can never be without being in the news for some weird decisions and have come up again with a new decision on taxation. The newest to be included in the list is the Social Media Tax. Yes, you heard it right! Uganda Government has planned on to introduce Social Media Tax by July 2018 on users to gain more money and use it for the betterment of the people. If you are not a resident of Uganda you might be feeling relieved but Richard Ancrum Walker, the World Bank senior economist for Uganda has supported the move and said that he is impressed by the decision of the government which can improve the condition of the country. While making the announcement of the Social Media Tax, the government said that it will help to boost the revenue of the country and it will also help in increasing the security. For long the debate in the country was that Uganda government always focused on expenditures and they did not focus much on administrating the revenues, but this move will help them improve the situation of the country. Uganda’s minister of finance said that the country is looking out for money to maintain and improve the security of the country and to provide better electrical connections throughout the country so that people can enjoy more of the social media.
The Social Media Tax aims at taxing the people at ssh 100 per day on Social Media usage. Other taxes which are to be introduced in the financial year 2018/2019 are one percent charge of any mobile transactions and taxation policies on savings too. Every international calls made will also be taxed at ssh 330. Uganda Revenue Authorities has also asked the banks to give them customers details but it has been halted for a while now. The new policies have produced an uproar throughout the country especially the new Social Media Tax as people feel that it is ‘Double Taxation’ as people feel that they already pay the taxes on data as well as the smartphones too.
The main question is that if this taxation system will be followed in the African country because previously the Government has announced that it will be launching its own social media platform and the people have to use it but it failed. According to Infomance news, the Social Media Tax will be applicable to the usage of WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter and the users will be charged 200 Shillings which is approximately $0.027 each day. Implementing such a scheme in the country where there are 23.6 million smartphones will be a tedious task as each application installed in these smartphones should be monitored to be taxed.
The taxation doesn’t come in as a surprise as rumours were on a run that Uganda Government might be shutting down the use of social media and this might decision might favor it indirectly. President of Uganda also said that they might introduce more such taxes to stop people from spreading rumors on Social Media.