Uganda Will Impose Social Media Tax For Using Whatsapp, Facebook – Good, Bad or Ugly?
Imagine paying Rs 10 as tax per day to access Whatsapp and Facebook on your mobile. How will you feel?
The Republic of Uganda, a small landlocked country in East Africa has announced a bizarre new tax for all citizens: Social Media tax.
We will soon share what exactly is the tax, and why this doesn’t make any sense.
But before that, imagine paying Rs 10 as tax per day to access Whatsapp and Facebook on your mobile. How will you feel?
Uganda’s Bizarre Tax: Social Media Tax!
Uganda has announced a new Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill, which can set a new precedent for all countries, which wish to extract more taxes from their citizens.
Welcome to the era of Social Media tax!
Pushed by Present of Uganda Yoweri Museveni, this new tax diktat will scoop out 200 shilling [$0.05, £0.04] daily from those citizens, who use social media apps like Whatsapp and Facebook.
As per the logic presented by the President of Uganda, this tax has been imposed because social media encourages ‘gossip’, and a tax of 200 shilling will deter their citizens from using the app.
Besides this weird tax rule, Uganda will also charge 1% tax on all mobile-based money transfers within the country, which the analysts fear will kill the booming cashless drive in the country.
Tax On Social Media Usage: Good, Bad Or Ugly?
The tax rule imposed by Uganda on the usage of Social Media apps start on July 1st. However, it is still not clear how will the Govt. determine which citizens are using these apps and for how long?
40% of Uganda, that is 17 million citizens are active users of the Internet.
Although this decision to tax social media apps sounds weird and bizarre, and we in India can be assured that nothing of sorts can happen in our country; this raises so many questions.
To start with, can Governments impose such tax in future? And to counter this, how will Whatsapp and Facebook and other such unicorn startups do?
Will they start paying the tax on users’ behalf to the Govt.?
This is a classic example of how net neutrality violation can create havoc on the Internet ecosystem, and destroy everything.
In our opinion, this decision by Uganda to impose a tax on social media apps should be condemned by every country, and diplomatic channels should be used to keep Internet free and fair for all.
Do share your views on this news, by commenting right here!