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Parliament Passes Tax on Social Media, Mobile Money

Parliament on Wednesday passed the Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill which seeks to place a 1% tax on every Mobile Money transaction and a Shs 200 tax on Social Media per day.

The bill has been passed amidst cries from the public, who called on government to find an alternative source of revenue.

It amends the Excise Duty Act 2014 so as to limit the interest payable to the to the amount of unpaid principle tax, amend excise duty on telecommunications services and enhance excise duty of certain goods.

The tax on Social Media, according to the approved bill, will be levied on every mobile phone subscriber that uses the platforms Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter.

With the proposed 1% tax on mobile Money transactions, government targets to collect Shs 115 billion each year.

The bill also seeks to introduce cooking oil and motorcycles at first registration.

The Committee dropped the proposal to impose Excise duty on soft drinks arguing that the current tax is already the highest in the region and further taxation is bound to encourage smuggling of soft drinks from the neighboring countries.