Tanzania waives value-added tax on smartphones

Tanzania will waive value-added tax on smartphones, tablets, and modems. This was revealed by the Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr Mwigulu Nchemba while presenting the country’s budget for the fiscal year of 2021/22 yesterday.

This move, the minister says, is to encourage the use of telecommunications services to achieve the target of 80 percent of internet users by 2025.

“I recommend exemption of  Value Added Tax on smartphones with HS Code 8517.12.00, Tablets with HS Code 8471.30.00 or 8517.12.00 and Modems with HS Code 8517.62.00 or 8517.69.00,”

 “I propose to waive the value-added tax on smartphones, smartphones, and modems to encourage the use of telecommunications services to achieve the target of 80 percent of internet users by 2025 from the current 46 percent,”  Dr. Mwigilu Nchemba said. 

According to the  minister, the telecommunications sector has become an important link in expanding the scope of citizens who are in the digital world and in the financial sector 

Tanzania’s mobile industry has been growing since the early 2000s. According to data from Statista, out of the 42 million mobile voice subscriptions registered in 2018, roughly half the devices were used to access the internet, indicating the comparatively high number of basic cell phones throughout the country. 

At the end of September last year, mobile internet subscribers in the country had surpassed the 27-million mark. The numbers stood at 27,900,069 at the end of September from 26,832,089 users recorded at the end of the first quarter, in March. What this means is that the country added over a million users in just nine months.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

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