URA To Slap Tax on Data Usage Top story

4235 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Henry Saka, URAs Commissioner Domestic Taxes says the tax authority has observed a drop in the amount of money collected from excise duty on voice calls indicating that people now use data to call.

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is planning to slap tax on Ugandans who rely on internet to communicate.

Henry Saka, URA's Commissioner Domestic Taxes says the tax authority has observed a drop in the amount of money collected from excise duty on voice calls indicating that people now use data to call.

Saka says URA is currently engaging the finance ministry to explore ways to implement the tax.

Officials from URA led by Commissioner General Doris Akol today appeared before parliament's finance committee chaired by Rubanda West MP Henry Musasizi.

The officials told the committee that voice calls have a 12 percent excise duty and mobile data usage remains the only mobile phone service that is not taxed.

Henry Musasizi, the finance committee chairperson told URN that the tax should be captured since telecom companies make money out of it through selling data.

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URA already charges fixed lines a 5% excise duty and a 18% value added tax on messages sent on phone to receive advice from people like doctors.

According to the 2015 Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) report, 12.9 million Ugandans use internet. 

Meanwhile, Commissioner General Doris Akol appealed to the finance committee to ensure that salaries of staff at URA are revised.

She said that the authority's staff salaries were last revised five years ago and currently they face a high attrition rate.

However, MPs sitting on the finance committee warned that calls for salary increment could spark similar calls from other organizations.

 

About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.