Kenyan Government turns down tax cuts

Kenya Parliament
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Members of Kenya’s Parliament have rejected a plan to cut the much-maligned blanket tax on gambling activities from 35 to 15 percent and have instead drawn up plans for the reallocation of the extra funds.

The country’s Treasury proposed amendments to the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act, that would lead to the lessening of revenue taxation but saw these withdrawn by the National Assembly committee on Labour and Social Welfare.

It was said that the proposals sought to subvert broad consultations, the legislative authority of the National Assembly as well as court rulings that dismissed a suit against the 35 percent tax.

“In light of the foregoing, the proposed amendment to sections 29A, 44A, 55A and 55B should be withdrawn,” said committee chairman, Victor Munyaka in a statement.

The proposals tabled by the Treasury sought to alleviate the burden on operators, which besides a 35 percent tax on revenue are required to pay 30 percent in corporation tax and dedicate a further 25 percent of sales to social causes.

The amendments were designed to pass a portion of this burden onto the players themselves with a provisional 20 percent taxation on winnings suggested.

Prior to the most recent provisions, which came into force on 1 January, lotteries were taxed five percent of total sales, betting firms and bookmakers 7.5 percent and casino operators 12 percent.

The most recent hike in these numbers has seen a number of company’s either withdraw, or threaten to withdraw their custom from the nation.

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