The start of July marked the resumption of the 12% internet tax, following the amendment of the Excise Duty Act. Like we told you earlier, the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development pronounced its interest to scrap the close to 3-year-old OTT tax to pave way for a new tax on internet usage. This was presented under the Excise Duty Amendment Bill of 2021 to help boost the struggling economy.
Here is how every telecom company reacted to the 12% internet tax
MTN Uganda reaction
MTN Uganda issued a statement on the issue with regards to the repeal of the OTT tax. The key point picked from it was that MTN “believes that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern, connected life.”
For now, the statement implies that MTN Uganda will go the extra mile for its customers that seek to use its internet services during this COVID-19 lockdown. Emmy Olaki, the PR Director at TBWA Uganda says this is MTN’s position in general and will last longer than the lockdown.
Airtel Uganda/K2 Telecom
Airtel seemed to be on the same page with MTN until it issued a statement on its fixed internet services. According to Airtel, the Airtel shared plan of 5 Mbps, the price will go up from UGX 350,000 to UGX 392,000. For dedicated internet and data plans, an additional 12% excise tax will apply based on case-by-case pricing applicable to you. For now, these are the only packages from the telecom company that will be affected.
Africell Uganda also issued a similar statement to that of MTN assuring customers that their internet usage will be uninterrupted.
Lycamobile did not find comfort in the tax. They increased their data prices swiftly. When we contacted the LycaMobile customer support team to explain why the internet prices were increased, they admitted to having no other option apart from following the 12% internet tax directive.
“We would like to inform you that we modified our data rates due to the recent elimination of OTT services effective from 05/07/2021 except for international Voice bundles, We have tried to prevent this price increase for as long as possible because of course, we wanted to provide our products at a competitive price. However, Not to do so would directly affect our ability to trade. we regrettably had no choice other than to implement the new government tax policies. We would like to apologize for any problems that the price increase may cause.“
UTL might be forgotten in the eyes of many, but the telco still has customers to serve. It informed these, in a tweet, that it was implementing the 12% internet tax on its internet services. Not a surprise, huh?!
Roke was in for the customer during the OTT regime. However, for the new tax, things are about to change The company indicated, in a tweet, that it would increase the prices of its Roke Classic, Roke Unlimited, and Roke MEGA services by 12% – following the government directive.
The good news for Rokespot users is that they will not have to pay the internet tax. In a follow-up tweet, the company stated that it will not be increasing the price of ROKE Express Wi-Fi/ Rokespot bundles.
Smile paid for customers the OTT tax too, and it is not about to stop. The company announced that it will foot the 12% internet tax bill too!
Kampala Siti Cable
Kampala Siti Cable seems to take a different direction in regards to the new internet tax. In a letter dated 28th June, it said all its Simba Fiber data offerings and packages will be subjected to the tax, this simply means you should expect the rates for these bundles to increase.