State Minister for Finance in charge of General Duties David Bahati

Kampala: State Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development David Bahati has said government has realized how inconvenient it is to pay social media tax adding that better ways will be sought with time.

With a motive of widening the tax base in the country, government introduced social media and mobile money tax. Social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, Viber and Skype among others have been subjected to a daily levy of Shs200 and mobile money transactions have been subjected to a 1 per cent excise duty.

Commenting on the implementation of Excise Duty Amendments for Telecommunication 2018/2019, Bahati said Excise Duty is a small contribution of citizens towards development of Uganda.

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He said when government proposes a tax it must be affordable and reasonable, “I don’t think Shs70, 000 a year for Social Media Tax is unreasonable,” he said at Media Centre.

He vowed that government will account for resources generated from tax collection, “Social media tax is a small but affordable contribution, it is not a punishment, we should finance our budget 100 per cent,”

Bahati said government has directed Uganda communications commission(UCC) one of its institutions to work around the clock to block usage of VPNs to access social media that people are using to evade the paying of tax.

He further said, “the other good opportunity is that virtual private networks (VPN) is more expensive compared to paying tax of shs200 per day.”

Since the blocking of social media, various activists have petitioned constitutional court seeking for annulling of both mobile money and social media tax contending that this tax is a double taxation of Ugandans.