Kenya introduces telephone and Internet taxes

Kenya has introduced a 15% excise tax on Internet services and 20% on mobile money transfers after Parliament passed the Finance Bill 2018. In a memorandum sent to Parliament, President Uhuru Kenyatta wrote ‘Telephone and internet data services shall be charged excise duty at a rate of fifteen percent of their excisable value. Excise duty on fees charged for money transfer services by banks, money transfer agencies and other financial service providers shall be twenty percent of their excisable value’. Moreover, Parliament has scaled back funding for ICT development projects, including the digital literacy programme and last mile electricity. Experts link new taxes to external debt acquired through loans for infrastructural development from China.