Business News

Social media tax subscription validity extended to 24hrs

The validity of subscription of the unpopular over-the-top daily tax on social media commonly known as social media tax has now been extended to last the full 24 hours a day.

Since the introduction of the tax in July this year, internet users in Uganda are required to pay tax of Shs 200 per day, Shs 1400 per week or Shs 6,000 per month in order to access social media platforms such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram among others. This subscription would expire at midnight regardless of the time of subscription/activation.

Now, telecommunications giant, MTN Uganda has announced that effective November 1, 2018, the tax validity will now expire after 24 hours at not at midnight as has been the case.

“Y’ello. With effect from 01st November 2018, the validity of your daily OTT tax of 200/- has changed from midnight to 24 hours” MTN said in a message sent to their customers across the country.

When asked whether they would refund the previous OTT that would rather unfairly expire at midnight, MTN said that it isn’t possible.

To avoid paying the tax, several social media users resorted to using popular virtual private networks (VPN) such as Samsung Max, Hotshield VPN, Psiphon Pro, VPN Free etc but many of these have since been effectively blocked by the telecoms however the less popular VPNs remain functional.

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