The New OTT Tax Deal: What’s New?

Four months after the introduction of social media tax, a tax on Over the top (OTT) services, telecom companies have made a key revision, extending the validity of the levy.

Since July 1, Ugandans have had to part with Shs 200 daily to access social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

That is not about to change.

However, what has changed with Thursday’s announcement is that the tax will be deducted after 24 hours.

“Yello our esteemed customers, your Daily Over-The-Top (OTT) tax is now valid for exactly 24hours from whenever you load it,” read a statement by MTN Uganda.

“Kindly, note that daily OTT tax is now valid for 24hours with Airtel. You can try it out,” announced  Airtel in a tweet.

For four months, the OTT levy has been expiring at midnight.

Assuming one paid one’s OTT tax at 11:58pm, the telecoms would block access to social media sites two minutes later.

But with the new announcement, such a person’s social media tax access would expire 24 hours later at 11:58pm the following day.

This is the first major revision in the social media tax (OTT tax) since it was levied.

President Yoweri Museveni said the tax would help curb lugambo (gossip) and insisted it would not be revised despite  protests over the same.

Museveni Speaks Out On Social Media, Mobile Money Taxes


Marion Ayebazibwe