On Tuesday evening, the National Assembly Finance and Planning Committee chairperson, Kimani Kuria, tabled the team’s report after public engagements on the 2023 Finance Bill.
The report captures changes to proposed tax measures that the government had outlined in a bid to increase revenues to fund its spending plan.
Below is an outline of the key changes currently under consideration in the National Assembly.
Changes to the treatment of winnings will see the amount wagered by punters set aside in the withholding tax computation. The initial proposal would have included wagered amounts as part of winnings.
At the same time, excise duty on betting, the tax levied on wagered amounts, has been reduced to 12.5 percent, down from 20 percent. The levy will be increasing from a lower base of 7.5 percent at present.
A new pay-as-you-earn tax band has been introduced, covering earners of between Sh500,000 and Sh800,000 per month at 32.5 percent.
Earners with gross salaries above Sh800,000 will see a higher PAYE rate of 35 percent. The earlier proposal had all earners above Sh500,000 a month subjected to the 35 percent PAYE rate. Currently, they pay 30 percent.
Liquified petroleum gas (LPG) moves from the proposed exempt category to the zero-rated group. The change will allow LPG manufacturers to seek compensation from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) for input VAT, allowing for even cheaper gas costs for users. Initially, LPG supply would be exempt, meaning this claim would not be permitted. Currently, LPG attracts VAT at the rate of eight percent.
The proposal to levy excise duty on cosmetic products, including wigs, false beards, eyelashes, artificial nails and human hair, has been struck out. The levy had been proposed at five percent.
Amendments to the controversial new housing fund contributions will see the proposed contribution lowered to 1.5 percent from three percent, but the contribution will now change into a levy or a tax, which effectively means that the money will not be refunded after it is collected.
Digital content creators
Withholding tax on income from digital content creation has been proposed at five percent instead of the previous consideration of 15 percent.
In amendments to the gross sales tax, businesses with annual revenues of between Sh1 million and Sh25 million will now be subject to the tax from the previous proposal of enterprises with a turnover of between Sh500,000 and Sh15 million.
The rate of turnover tax has, however, been retained at a higher three percent from one percent.
The supply of farming inputs, including pest control products and fertilisers, will remain zero-rated for VAT after the deletion of a proposal to exempt the products, which would have resulted in higher costs for the inputs.
Maize flour and sugar
Equally, the supply of maize flour and sugar will remain zero-rated for VAT from the proposal to exempt the key food commodities, which would have set the cost of the products higher than current rates.
MPs have retained the proposal to levy VAT on petroleum products at 16 percent despite heavy lobbying against the move during the public participation stage of the Bill.
Other taxes retained against public outcry is the three percent digital assets tax, 15 percent taxation on repatriated profits, and the export promotion levy.
By Business Daily