Telecom Companies Remove OTT, Introduce New Tax on Data and Airtime Bundles

Posted on Jun 18, 2021
By Sean Musa Carter
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National

Telecom companies in Uganda have removed the infamous Over-the-Top (OTT) tax as advised by the government in preparation for the introduction of a 12% excise duty on internet services. Everyone will pay for the new tax to access internet. No more VPNs.

This directive comes in action after the Parliament of Uganda recently passed the Excise Duty (Amendment) Act, 2021 (‘the Act’) which imposes an excise duty of 12% of prices charged for Internet data except Internet services used for medical or educational purposes.

The excise duty is collectable effective 1st July 2021.

With only two weeks to this new tax, Ugandans can enjoy the freedom for the meantime as Liquid Telecom, Airtel Uganda and MTN Uganda among others have all scrapped the OTT tax.

A Market Performance Report issued by the Uganda Communications Commission indicated that the number of internet subscribers not paying the tax was at least 7.6 million of the targeted 18.9 million subscribers, its from this that a proposal to revoke the OTT tax was chaired. The report further showed that subscribers bypass the tax using VPNs or utilizing Wi-Fi which is not subjected to the tax.

 

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