Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is planning to levy tax on Ugandans who rely on internet to communicate.
Henry Saka, URA’s Commissioner Domestic Taxes says the tax authority has observed a drop in the amount of money collected from excise duty on voice calls indicating that people now use data to call.
Saka says URA is currently engaging the finance ministry to explore ways to implement the tax.
Officials from URA led by Commissioner General Doris Akol today appeared before parliament’s finance committee chaired by Rubanda West MP Henry Musasizi.
The officials told the committee that voice calls have a 12 percent excise duty and mobile data usage remains the only mobile phone service that is not taxed.
Henry Musasizi, the finance committee chairperson said that the tax should be captured since telecom companies make money out of it through selling data.
URA already charges fixed lines a 5% excise duty and a 18% value added tax on messages sent on phone to receive advice from people like doctors.
According to the 2015 Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) report, 12.9 million Ugandans use internet.
Meanwhile, Commissioner General Doris Akol appealed to the finance committee to ensure that salaries of staff at URA are revised.
She said that the authority’s staff salaries were last revised five years ago and currently they face a high attrition rate.
However, MPs sitting on the finance committee warned that calls for salary increment could spark similar calls from other organizations.