Ugandans are up in arms against a new tax that is set to be introduced targeting all cash withdrawals from commercial banks.
According to a letter from Patrick Ocailap the Acting Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance to the Governor Bank of Uganda, the decision follows a budget consultative meeting held on February 5, 2021 at the Ministry which was attended by officials from Uganda Communications Commission, Uganda Revenue Authority, Telecom Operators and Sank of Uganda.
Ocailap says in the letter that the meeting heard that currently, Mobile Money withdrawals are subject to 0.5% excise duty but on the counter, agency banking and ATM withdrawals in commercial banks are not subjected to the same tax.
“It is note-worthy that this would encourage cashless transactions promote e-commerce, improve tax compliance in addition to raising revenue. We therefore, wish to seek your opinion on the proposal, and also request you to avail us with data on all categories of withdrawals, for our further review and determination. We require this data for the past three financial years (starting from FY 2017/18)” the letter says.
However, many Ugandans have taken to social media to air out their disappointment, wondering why someone pays a tax on mobile money withdraws, Internet (OTT), pay bank charges, ATM withdraw charges and now a tax on them withdraws.
“This is a classic case of double taxation. Areas to help Uganda expand our tax base include a total overhaul of tax waivers, enhancing compliance and curbing illicit financial flow” Eunice Musiime a lawyer wrote on her twitter handle.
“Living is Uganda is so painful, they introduce new taxes in every financial year” another twitter user writes.
Others have promised to go back to the earlier days before commercial banks where money was kept in a mattress or buried in gardens.
One user advised people on how they can now keep their hard-earned money and protect it from the taxes “6 places to keep your money that’s not your bank to avoid being taxed on withdrawing in Uganda; under the mattress, saving jars/pots, home safe, in a pit, peer to peer lending and in business” the user advised.
Ugandans are still reeling from the Over-The-Top (OTT) that was introduced in 2018.