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URA Proposes to Drop OTT, Impose Mobile Data Tax

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Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Commissioner General Doris Akol has proposed plans to drop the current Over the Top Tax (OTT) and instead impose a direct tax on mobile data.

Akol presented the proposal while appearing before Parliament’s Finance Committee over the coming financial year 2020/2021 Budget Framework Paper.

Without providing details, Akol underscored the need to have the tax policy reviewed since it was not performing well.

In July 2019, the tax body reported a collection of only Shillings 49.5 billion out of the targeted 284 billion from OTT.

This meant that URA was unable to collect 234 billion from this tax measure, a shortfall of 83 per cent from the estimates.

According to the URA, many Ugandans resorted to using Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and wireless networks in their offices to avoid paying the tax.

For OTT, every Ugandan using social media platforms like Facebook, and WhatsApp was expected to pay 200 Shillings daily.

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