Tuesday July 3 2018

Why govt is levying tax on social media

On May 30, Parliament passed the controversial Excise Duty Bill despite strong protests from critics, who see it as an attempt to stifle Internet and online expression freedom in the country. The law, which took effect on July 1, will require WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users in Uganda to pay a mandatory daily due of Shs200.

President Museveni has often expressed concern over some social media users who use these platforms for gossiping, which makes them lazy and keeps them in vicious circle of poverty.

The increasing habit of producing and publishing fake news on social media in Uganda is among the reasons why government is taxing the social media users.

Fake news raises anxiety, tension and disturbs the peace of citizens. It also mislead people and affects relationship between individuals, communities and countries. So the only avenue to curb that is to tax the users.
As a country that aims at achieving the middle income status by 2020, government is mandated to look for money that will drive it to this goal.

Government has to put more effort in raising domestic taxes such that by 2020, we are not dependent on other countries.
Catherine Namuddu,
Kampala

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