Category Archives: KRA

Mombasa and Tax Collection

There was an interesting screen shot of the amount of customs tax collected by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) on 16 December 2016.

It showed a total of Kshs 1.57 billion collected that day. Of that, Kshs 1.24 billion (79%) was recorded at Mombasa, and Kshs 139 million (9%) at Nairobi. Other top collection points were 6% at Nairobi’s  JKIA airport, 2% at Mombasa Airport and at Pepe Containers each, and 1% (Kshs 15 million) at Busia town.

Other centers listed include Eldoret and Wilson airports, and border towns of Moyale (Kshs 640,000), Isabanya, Namanga and Malaba which all recorded small collections. Other centres were Lamu with Kshs 21,000 and Kshs Kisumu 10,000. Mombasa had 1,887 transactions, JKIA had 1,205 transactions, Busia had 141, as Lamu had just 3 on that day.

In 2016, KRA collected Kshs 1.2 trillion of revenue for the government, which included Kshs 386 billion of customs tax – which works out to almost Kshs 1 billion per day. So Friday, December 16, was an exceptional collection day that came just before the Christmas break.

It’s worth noting that landlocked countries in East Africa are also able to pay tax and clear goods at Mombasa before transportation to the countries. This is done to prevent dumping of untaxed cargo during transit through Kenya.

KRA’s strategic corporate plan calls for clearing more cargo at Internal Container Depots (ICD’s) and this may have implications for Customs’ deployment of staff in the coast region. KRA’s 6th corporate plan also noted that the perception of corruption is highest at Customs service area at 66%.

Kenya Tax Changes in 2017

Tax changes that become effective on January 1, 2017, as a result of the finance bill signed  by the president on 13 September 2016

  • PAYE brackets have been expanded by 10% and the relief also increased by 10%. (now Kshs 15,360)
  • VAT on service charge has been removed, provided that the service charge does not exceed 10% of the price of the service
  • A taxpayer can apply for a refund of overpaid tax within a period of 5 years from the date which the tax was paid. Any amount not refunded within 2 years will accrue interest rate of 1% per month.
  • Withholding tax on winnings from betting and gaming has now been abolished and replaced by a betting tax of 7.5% on the gaming revenue,  lottery tax at 5% on the lottery turnover, a gaming tax at 12% on gaming revenue and a prize competition tax at 15% on the cost of entry to a competition

Extracts from a report by the Grant Thornton Kenya team.

Nairobi Mall and Supermarket Moment

A research report by Knight Frank notes that Nairobi has about 470,000 square meters of shopping center space under  development underway and is one of the five largest cities in Africa (excluding south africa) in that regard (it currently has 391,000 square meters of shop space).

Knight Frank Shop Africa Nairobi spotlight

Knight Frank Shop Africa Nairobi spotlight

Knight Frank notes that, aside from Actis (the pioneering UK investor), most of the developers and landlords of Nairobi’s shopping centres are local Kenyan property owners.

A second Buffalo Mall is  to be built in Eldoret. This comes after the Pivotal Fund acquired 50% of Buffalo Mall Naivasha.

Carrefour: This week opened their first store in East Africa. a 60,000 square foot hypermarket at the Hub in Karen, one of 57 stores that have opened there. Carrefour will be the anchor tenant and are run under franchise of Majid Al Futtaim Retail of Dubai.   EdIt – Carrefour Kenya have an app for shoppers 

(The) Game operated by Massamart. in which Walmart has a majority stake, opened at Garden City Mall as the anchor tenant. 

Khetia:  are in the midst of a Kshs 1  billion expansion in western Kenya. They plan to open up stores in Kisii, Busia and Kericho, each of which requires Kshs  200 million.

Nakumatt: Just launched their 59th branch in Kakamega – the Nakumatt Midtown Supermarket. It was remodeled after nakumatt acquired three supermarket stores in Western Kenay (Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia) from Yako Supermarkets in a Kshs 260 million investment program. They have also added new stores like  Sports Planet departmental  at the reopened Westgate mall. 

Naivas The ownership of widely admired chain is subject to an inheritance court case. 

Sarit Center: Nairobi’s first formal mall is undergoing an expansion program to add more stores.  

Society Stores: An offshoot of a Khetia family member  – Trushar Khetia, hopes to grow the store brand. He says that they had the first chance to buy out Ukwala, but it wasn’t backed by the board and the deal fell through.

Two Rivers backed by Centum and built by Avic will also house a Carrefour store at the 62,000 square meter site in Ruaka that sits on 100 acres.

Tuskys: is focusing this year on staff welfare and streamlining customer service delivery through deployment of  digital platforms for e-commerce. Shareholders are also trying to settle issues in readiness for a listing at the NSE by 2018.

Uchumi:  Is under new management and, once again, in search of a restructuring deal that involves working with suppliers, sale of assets (such as Ngong Road and Langata branches) and a share sale to a new anchor investor for about Kshs 5 billion. This has been complicated by some suppliers who sued to wind up the company, but talks are ongoing with the government, and it  appears that majority of the  suppliers will agree to convert Kshs 1.8 billion of the dent owed to them into equity at Uchumi.

Ukwala was bought by Choppies of South Africa. The deal was completed after an tax agreement deal  was reached with the Kenya Revenue Authority who were demanding back taxes from Ukwala.  Ukwala had admitted to owing the taxman Kshs 101 million, but appealed the additional Kshs 845 million that KRA was demanding. 

Finally, suppliers,  have complained about delayed payments by supermarkets retail chains. This was highlighted in letter from the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) to Tuskys, Nakumatt and Naivas.

$1 = Kshs 100

Capital Gains Tax Redone

A few months after the re-introduction of the capital gains tax in Kenya, that is now headed for some tweaking.

Even as they have tried to do their part, stockbrokers have challenged their role in the assessment and collection of the tax that was vaguely defined. E.g. some investors have had shares for years before they were immobilized (automated) and the tax was introduced, while others have bought shares at many different prices through the years.

A stockbroker tries to estimate a Kenyan investors capital gains

A stockbroker tries to estimate a Kenyan investors capital gains

In his statement (PDF) on the 2015/16 Kenya budget last week, the Cabinet Secretary for The National Treasury noted that ..the implementation of the law has faced some challenges in some sectors of the economy. In order to address these challenges and ensure enforceability and compliance, I propose to remove the 5% on capital gains arising from sale of shares and introduce a 0.3% withholding tax on the transaction value of the shares..”

 

 

Capital Gains Tax in Kenya

It’s a new year, and with it comes the reintroduction of the capital gains tax (CGT) in Kenya. This is not the first time it’s appeared (it was suspended in 1985), but previous attempts to reintroduce it in 2007 and 2011 were set aside by parliament. This time it has stuck and is now the law, with the a 5% tax imposed on the transfer of land, buildings and investment shares.

While guidelines have been published by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) it’s still unclear how the tax is to be determined such as on the buying and selling of shares.

For the last few weeks there’s been a mini-rush to complete the sale of some land and share deals. e.g. Equity Bank’s divestiture from Housing Finance with a sale of 24.9% to British American Investments (Britam) for Kshs 2.7 billion ($30.3 million) was concluded on December 31, 2014 (presumably beating the tax deadline).

With land deals, there may be some double taxation, in that  that while a buyer pays stamp duty of 4% of the sale value, the government will also deduct 5% from the amount paid to the seller for the same piece of land.

CGT will apply when  a property is gifted, abandoned or when the rights to a land title. Exemptions allowed under CGT include transfers that involve retirement benefits, divorce, land that is less than 100 acres, when a company issues shares, motor vehicles, estates of dead people, in corporate restructurings, and if someone sells a house they have lived in for more than 3 years.

Curiously the guidelines have something special for Kenya’s budding extractive industry, but which some investors are not happy about as for sector, which includes, oil, gas, and minerals comes up for some special attention: The net gain on disposal of interest in a person owning immovable property in the mining and petroleum industry is taxable..at 30% for residents and 37.5% for non residents.