KPMG East Africa has a summary of some tax proposals in the Finance Bill that will be used to plug the country’s ambitious Kshs 3.6 trillion 2021/22 budget.
Here are some excerpts
- Depositories are to enhance the identity of investors i.e buyers and sellers of securities.
- Creation of post-retirement medical funds in retirement benefits schemes.
- Clarifies the definition of an infrastructure bond.
- A capital markets tribunal shall deal with matters before it within 90 days.
- Moving from 16% to exempt after July 1, 2021, are the transfer of assets into real estate investment trust (REIT’s) and asset-backed securities.
- Opens up reinsurance to players other than Kenya Re to certify reinsurance contracts.
- Opens the door to private electricity companies; no longer required to offer their supply to the national grid and they are eligible for investment deductions. Also, if government licenses them, they can compete with KPLC.
- Tax cases will not stop where there is an ongoing criminal or civil case.
- Abolishes the amnesty on rental income tax before 2013 (which had since expired).
- Rewards for informing on tax dodgers; The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) can reward up to Kshs 500,000 (up from 100,000) for information and up to 5% or Kshs 5 million of taxes recovered.
- Taxpayers are to keep records for 7 years and KRA can assess claims of up to 7 years from the date of a taxpayer’s last return.
Digital Taxes and market
- PIN’s required for digital marketplace transactions.
- Digital service tax is removed from residents (only applies to non-residents).
- Non-resident businesses can maintain records in convertible currencies (not necessarily Kenya shillings).
- To stop base erosion and profit shifting, multinationals / ultimate parent companies are required to file a report on their activities (revenue, profit, taxes paid, employees, assets, cash) in Kenya within 12 months of their financial year-end.
- Ends group VAT registration for groups of companies; each entity will report its own VAT on transactions.
- To encourage large investments, there is an exemption for import declaration fee (IDF) and railway development levy (RDL) for investments over Kshs 5 billion or with the approval of the Treasury Cabinet Secretary.
Value Added Tax
- Introduces VAT on bread.
- Several items move from 16% to exempt, which means the Treasury CS can exempt them on request. These include infants foods, medical ventilators, lab reagents, gas masks, x-ray equipment, anti-malaria kits and doses, and artificial body parts.
- Also moving from 16% to exempt, are vehicles for oil & mining companies, and equipment for solar & wind generation.
- A 20% betting tax returns after being briefly for a year.
- Bank loan fees no longer incur excise duty.
- Remove a requirement for VAT regulations to be approved ahead by Parliament; instead they will be shared with legislators under the statutory instruments Act.
- Withholding tax in oil and mining sectors will be 10%
- Removes the 10 year limit on carrying tax losses
- Excise tax goes up on motorcycles and is introduced on jewellery and nicotine substitutes.
- Reintroduces excise duty on locally-manufactured sugar confectionery and white chocolate that was removed in 2019.