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    Uganda: Parliament to review 'social media tax'

    APA-Kampala (Uganda)

    The Uganda government is planning to table a bill before parliament next week to review the tax that was recently introduced on social media use.

    The daily 200 Uganda shillings (approximately $0.05) over the Top Tax (OTT) which many have termed a social media tax was introduced on the use of social media sites such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter, among others.

    The tax has attracted widespread protests among Ugandans since its coming into force at the beginning of July.

    In a statement to Uganda’s parliament, the Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, said the Excise Duty Amendment Act 2018 which introduced the “Social Media Tax”, among others, is to be reviewed by legislators next week.

    Rugunda said “since the Act came into force on 1st July 2018, the government has noted public concerns regarding some of the elements in its implementation.”

    He told parliament that the government was taking into consideration the concerns and views of the public on the tax and its impact on the budget, before presenting an amendment.

    “The president has provided guidance on the matter and encouraged further discussion with a view to reaching consensus on how we should raise the much-needed revenue to finance our budget,” Rugunda said.

    Last week Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni defended the tax, saying many citizens did not pay their taxes as they ought to, and should not "donate money to foreign companies through chatting or even lying" on social media.


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