After a successful 2018/19 budget reading that saw social media and mobile money taxes usher their way into Uganda. The Government has introduced a new policy to tax airtime purchases as all scratch cards now posses a 10% tax increment. Telecom companies in policy notices sent out to vendors clarified the 10% increase as a new tax introduced on July 1st 2018 joining the rugs of social media tax that is now bypassed with various VPNs downloaded.
A 10% airtime increase now means that a scratch card of Shs1,000 is sold at Shs1,100, the one of Shs2,000 costs Shs2,200 and the one worth Shs10,000 goes for Shs11,000. However, similar to other tax structure opposition, customers have again blasted the new taxes online in a bid for change in the pricing structure as new hashtags #NotoSocialmediatax and #ThisTaxmustgo continue to trend in Uganda.
The fate of scratch cards in Uganda
Telecommunication companies including MTN and Airtel together with Africell have for the past few weeks encouraged users to purchase airtime using digital methods for simplicity. The MOMO Nyabo promotion is as a result of this digital movement that is aimed at phasing out physical airtime cards in Uganda.
In a bid to avoid the 10% tax imposed on airtime scratch cards. You can buy airtime through alternative digital means like Payway, Pebuu, Easypay or more convenient methods you can choose from. Nevertheless, scratch cards have always been dangerous from the start when scratched with bare fingers to the skin.