OTT tax finally scrapped, Ugandans to start paying 12% tax on data tomorrow

Effective July 1st, 2021, all Ugandans will have to pay a new 12 percent tax on internet bundles. This means the unpopular OTT tax will be dropped.

The new tax was introduced by Parliament through the Excise Duty (Amendment) Act 2021.

The Act also repealed the article in the Excise Duty Act which required Ugandans to pay shs200 daily as Over the Top (OTT) tax so as to be able to access social media platforms including WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram among others.

The 12 percent tax will be levied on all internet data, save for that meant for research, educational and medical purposes.

Amos Lugoloobi, who is the State minister for Planning, said earlier this month while presenting Financial Year 2021/22 budget that the new arrangement comes to help government achieve its objective of industrialisation for inclusive growth.

It is expected that with the new tax, the cost for internet bundles will rise.

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The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) says that Uganda boasts 18.8 million internet users as of December 2020.

OTT had been introduced in 2018, the tax was however opposed from the on-set by almost all sections of the public.

The then Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi in 2018 led a section of Ugandans to protest against the tax that he said was repressive and a violation of the rights of citizens.

He was however arrested and later arraigned in court over the same but has continued to advocate for the scrapping of the tax.

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