Kenyans are now eyeing higher taxes following President William Ruto’s proposal of a 3 percent deduction from their basic salary towards the national housing development plan.
This is according to the Finance Bill 2023 that is tabled in Parliament and now waiting to be debated.
In the bill, Treasury is also proposing that PAYE be graduated to 35 percent for individuals earning more than Ksh.500, 000 from the current 30 percent in its efforts to expand the tax base.
Other targeted sectors include betting firms who are expected to remit their taxes within 24 hours to KRA, beauty products such as Wigs, human hair, false beards, eyebrows, and eyelashes will be subjected to 5 percent exercise duty and Digital content creators will also be subjected to withholding tax of 15 percent for all content that they monetize.
Further, a 10 percent excise duty on imported cellular phones and a 15 percent excise duty on imported paints, varnishes, and lacquers has been proposed in the bill.
Powdered juice will now be taxed at Sh25 per kilogram while sugar, excluding that imported or locally purchased by a registered pharmaceutical manufacturer, will attract an Sh5 tax per kilogram.
In order to empower the taxman, the new taxes also include an Sh100,000 excise duty per metric tonne of imported fish or 20 percent of the value, whichever is higher.
In the digital space, the treasury is seeking to introduce a Digital Assets Tax targeting anyone who owns a platform or facilitates the exchange or transfer of digital assets which includes cryptocurrencies, token codes, non-fungible tokens, or any other token of similar nature.
An amendment to Section 5 of the Income Tax Act is also part of the proposals to ensure employees’ per diem, known as cash allowances, are duly taxed.
To achieve the above, the government will work with employers to ensure each citizen fairly contributes.