Kenya VAT on electronic services
- Jun 3, 2020 | Richard Asquith
Kenya is considering imposing Value Added Tax on foreign providers of digital or electronic services. It has now launched a public consultation until 15 June 2020.
The 2020 Finance Bill has already imposed a 1.5% digital transaction tax.
VAT on digital services
It is proposing to levy VAT on e-service provided via digital marketplaces. Services to be included are:
- Downloads of movies, apps and electronic books
- Subscription-based media, including streaming TV or music, gaming, news or magazines
- Software downloads
- Electronic data management
- Supply of streaming films and games
- Tickets bought online for live events
- Online e-learning
- Audio content bought online and payable on any device
- Sharing economy website services, including ride-sharing
- Any other digital marketplace supply as may be determined by the Kenyan Commissioner of Taxes.
Simplified registration process
Any non-resident providing these services to Kenyan consumers would need to VAT register to the Commissioner. This will be facilitated by a simplified VAT registration procedure, which will be available online. Note, there is no facility to recover Kenyan input VAT through this registration. Alternatively, providers may apply for a regular VAT registration although will require a local tax agent to represent the taxpayer. Also, there is no credit refund mechanism on the simplified registration
Returns are then due by the 20th of the month following the reporting period.
Determining the place of supply
Registered providers will need to determine if their customer is consuming the services in Kenya. They may rely on the following factors to determine this place of supply:
- Postal ddress
- Credit card or bank transfer details
- IP address
- Mobile SIM card country code