By Ivan Mwine
The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has literary sparked off a storm after the Authority announced that it has introduced a new tax for social media influencers.
Although it is not yet clear what criteria they will base on to determine who is a social media influencer and how much tax they should pay, URA intends to start collecting the tax without fail.
John Rujoki Musinguzi, the URA Commissioner General, says they have already submitted their policy measures to the Finance, Planning and Economic Development Ministry with expectation that the policies are passed by Parliament and enforced in the next financial year 2022-2023.
He made the remarks during the two-day 10th annual Taxation training for Justices of the High Court.
During the training, Musinguzi urged the judiciary together with the Tax Appeals Tribunal to dispose of the backlog of 350 tax cases valuing more than Shs1.2 trillion for this money to be injected into the country’s economy.
However, the decision has sparked off varying opinions from several Ugandans, who wonder why URA wants to tax social media influencers yet the data they use is already taxed by the same Authority, which is likely to result into double taxation.
However, URA officials argue that these influencers earn a lot of money through blogs and social media Apps which goes without being taxed, hence making government lose billions of shillings in untaxed revenue.
Nonetheless, here are some of the opinions raised by concerned Ugandans on twitter about this new tax that targets social media influencers;
IAM Grenade: Who is to Tax Social Media Influencers yet the whole Uganda is already taxed on Data Bundles ???
Timothy Bukumunhe: The key question is how will they define a taxable social media influencer? This one is already dead in the water
Claire aka Dauntless Eskimo : So for these URA guys that want to tax influencers, what criterias are they going to take on finding who a social media influencer is? Bcoz all I see most pipo here are hustlers not influencers.
David Bishanga: As if I have heard that @URAuganda is coming in with a new tax on the social media influencers!!! Oh our dear poor influencers, sorry bambi but that’s life mwattu.
It should be noted that URA is yet to issue a statement clarifying about the new tax and if faced with the task of answering the numerous unanswered questions being raised by Ugandans.