URA likely to impose ‘taxes’ on data

With Uganda Revenue Authority exploring all avenues to enlarge its tax base, internet users might find themselves digging deep into their pockets to pay fares for the internet connectivity.

Appearing before the parliament’s committee on finance, URA officials led by Henry Saka, the commissioner, domestic taxes, told the finance committee chaired by Rubanda West’s Henry Musasiizi that their body has noticed an unparalleled drop in the amount of collections from exercise duty on voice calls.

He thus, suggested that this could act as an indicator that people have snubbed making voice calls which are being charged and resorting to using their data to make calls.

“This is an indicator [that] people are using data to call not the voice calls,” Saka said.

According to URA, there is no tax on use of mobile data yet there is taxes imposed on the other mobile services.

To make a voice call, the caller coughs 12 per cent exercise duty on mobile phones, 5 per cent is being levied from fixed lines, and then a text message which a customer sends to get the doctor’s advice or football fixtures and likes which the tax body illustrates as “added value services” is charged 20 per cent.

However, it’s not clear when this mooted plan by the tax body is likely to take shape, but it’s most likely to be effected during the next 2017/18 fiscal year budget.

Currently, data connection has been entirely free of charge despite the availability of charges slapped by URA virtually on all mobile phone services.

 

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