Over The Top (OTT) tax has sharpened a life span of over 1 year into a traffic block to popular social media apps. The tax which is levied on mainly Facebook Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and the likes has been ranked as the worst performing GDP spicer by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).
Before OTT tax cruised a whitelist path to an only internet bundles limited netizen, VPNs only came out on special occasions like the 2016 general elections. But now, with OTT tax fully active in each and every connection stream across major Internet providers in Uganda, riding on VPNs has greatly impacted the overall Social media adoption rate.
According to URA, OTT tax is mainly affected by ever-rising Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) that can’t be directly blocked due to multiple redundant points of access inking a short in the subscription figures. However, the authority has also registered a good figure from the tax.
A total of UGX 49.5 billion was collected in the 2018/19 year out of the projected UGX 284 billion sighted during the tax early stages in July 2018. The collected revenue means 82.8% of Internet users in Uganda have avoided the tax with only 17.8% complying to the rule.
However, the URA Commissioner General Ms. Doris Akol according to the New Vision through PC Tech Magazine says there is a need for deeper mass awareness campaigns about OTT. As a result of multiple sensitizations, the Tax can be improved at a time when it’s very unpopular among a majority of Netizens.
OTT tax is payable in multiple time frames whether daily, weekly or monthly for as low as UGX 200 slashed off your Mobile money account. However, with the increasing unpopularity of OTT tax in Uganda, could the tax be scrapped off or modified to data packages? It will all depend on any new URA measures, meanwhile, do you support the 82% population or ride with the 17.8% compliant users?