Uganda’s social media tax falls well short of targets

18 Jul 2019

The government of Uganda says the tax on mobile social media services which was introduced in July 2018 has failed to generate the expected income. A report from Agence Ecofin cites Doris Akol, the Commissioner General of the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), as saying that the tax brought in UGX49.5 billion (USD13.5 million) between its implementation and the end of 2018, which was just 17.4% of the UGX284 billion which had been predicted. Reasons for the poor performance include mobile customers opting to install VPN software or waiting until they are in range of a Wi-Fi connection before accessing social media apps.

While the social media tax has produced disappointing results for the government, mobile money services continue to do well, bringing in UGX157.2 billion in taxes in 2018, well ahead of the UGX115 billion which had been expected.