Finance bill 2023 Kenya is generating a bunch of controversies as Kenyan Content Creators rain heavy criticism on the bill which includes several proposals targeted at generating additional revenue at their detriment.
As part of efforts to widen the country’s tax base, Kenya’s finance bill of 2023 targets areas that were initially untaxed but has since flourished.
One of the targeted areas is Online Content Creation but content creators such as bloggers, YouTubers, and social media influencers have since opposed this idea, stating that not only is it high, it is also unwarranted.
Finance Bill 2023 Kenya: Content Creators To Pay 15% Withholding Tax
Part of the proposed taxes in Kenya’s finance bill of 2023 is a 15% withholding tax imposed on income generated from online content creation.
Among the digital content monetization that the tax will apply to is income earned from promoting and advertising products and services online, such as sponsorships, affiliate marketing, merchandise sales, and paid subscriptions.
Content creators are required by law to register with tax authorities and do the needful.
Meanwhile, a famous comedian, Eric Omondi, is spearheading the opposition of this particular proposal, pointing out the government’s hypocrisy, in the sense that they never did anything to help the industry but now that it is flourishing, they want to take from it.
Economists Weigh In
According to economists, Mr. Eric Odera in particular, not only will the 15% withholding tax wreak havoc on the growth of the digital economy, it will also lead to double taxation.
Odera explained that since this is just a withholding tax, it means at the end of the year, online content creators will be required to do auditing which will then lead to them paying what is known as a final tax.
Proposed Tax Will Hinder The Goal Of $40 smartphones
Another proposed tax in the financial bill is a tax imposed on imported raw materials used to build devices like smartphones.
The Kenyan government has a plan to start building smartphones locally, which wouldn’t cost more than $40 but partners involved in the project have alerted them that the new taxes will hinder its execution.
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