Uganda Revenue Authority has reported that Ugandans have still refused to pay the OTT daily taxes. In the last financial year, URA haad projected a collection of Shs. 284bn however they only collected Shs 49.5bn. This represents a shortfall of 82.6%, meaning only 17.4% of internet users paid the tax.
OTT tax was introduced last year in July, with government levying Shs 200 daily tax for use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Whatsapp. However, the public reception of the tax wasn’t positive with many critics slamming the move. Some politicians led by Hon. Bobi Wine staged protests against the tax, however, the government didnt budge.
Seeing this, many users resorted to downloading VPN apps so as to be able to bypass the taxman’s blockade. URA’s shortfall is attributed to this prevalent usage of VPN apps and wireless networks in offices and other public places.
URA now says that there is a need to study OTT more to see if more taxes can be realized. They say that interestingly, the people who can afford to pay OTT are the ones avoiding paying the tax – citing government extravagance, corruption and wastage.