Aruu county Member of Parliament Hon. Odonga Otto has said that the 1% Mobile Money tax increment is too little for life.
Speaking to our reporter on Thursday, Otto said that he had even proposed that the increment should be at least 3% so that government can collect enough money.
He says that telecommunication investors are taking home a lot money from Ugandans and yet government is not getting enough from these mushrooming platforms that could possibly shoulder the economy.
Otto adds that paying a tax is everyone’s obligation regardless of the position they hold therefore those who feel that 1% tax increment is too much, then they need to get back to their senses.
Parliament on Wednesday passed the Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2018 that imposes a tax on mobile money transactions and access to social media platforms respectively.
The bill was passed after a debate which drew mixed reactions from MPs across the political divide. The report from the Committee on Finance, Planning and Economic Development on the bill was presented by the vice Chairperson of the committee Hon. Loy Katali (NRM, Jinja District) during a plenary session, Wednesday, 30 May 2018.
The committee observed that money had migrated from traditional payment systems like banks to digital platforms like mobile money, thus the need to levy tax on such platforms.
“The bill proposes to impose excise duty of one per cent on the value of mobile money transactions of receiving, payments and withdraws. Mobile money is an efficiency gain and should be taxed,” Katali said.
Some MPs, however, insisted that imposition of tax on sending, receiving and withdraw of money using mobile money services would be detrimental to low income earners who depend on the service.
“In my constituency, there is no bank to offer financial transactions to the locals so they depend on mobile money. If you impose this tax, how will people in rural areas keep their money?” queried Hon. David Abala (NRM, Ngora County).
“The one per cent tax on mobile money is going to reduce financial inclusion which we are seeking as a country for the most vulnerable in society,” added Hon. Monicah Amoding (NRM, Kumi District).
Some MPs on the other hand gave a node to the bill noting that it would improve the country’s revenue collection and enable payment of outstanding loans.