Mobile money tax was introduced a few months back together with the famous OTT tax. From the time President Museveni directed the relevant authorities to slash the excessive 1% tax collected from customers, Parliament has since then failed to implement the measure although telcos had kicked off a refund process.
Speaking to the press yesterday, minister of ICT & Information Hon Frank Tumwebaze confirmed that Parliament had voted out the 1% mobile money tax in favor of a 0.5% amendment against a move by the opposition to fully scrap off a tax that Bank of Uganda previously regarded to as a dangerous policy. However, when a member of our team tried to withdraw money today, URA deducted a 1% tax off the transaction implying the 0.5% policy has not taken effect yet.
What next after the 0.5% mobile money slash
As much as everyone hated mobile money services from the day Government lashed out to telcos in a bid to improve the then 1% tax amidst massive VPN downloads countrywide. The effect of the 0.5% may still negatively impact various customers away from relying on the service for all transactions as the story has been for the past few months from July 2018.
Although 0.5% is the new tax bounty on withdraws only and excluded on sending and mobile money payments. Over the top (OTT) services tax has no proposed amendments to either scrap off the UGX 200 or redivert the figure to data purchases. However, as mobile money tax now carries a 0.5% flag, we might see VPNs lose popularity with a similar cut off social media platforms.