Uganda plans 12% tax on internet access

9 Apr 2021

The government of Uganda is proposing a new tax on internet services to replace its much-criticised fee for using over-the-top (OTT) services such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter. The OTT fee introduced in 2018 charged users UGX200 (USD0.055) per day to use social media and instant messaging platforms, but many customers skirted the law by using VPNs. A new bill is proposing to replace the OTT charge with a 12% tax on internet access, starting on 1 July this year. Critics are saying that the new tax will stifle the development of the internet sector in Uganda, while human rights organisations claim it will further restrict freedom of expression and access to information.