January 19, 2021


Digital Tax in Kenya became effective on 1st January 2021.

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Digital Tax Takes Effect in Kenya

Digital Tax Takes Effect in Kenya

Kenya’s Finance Act 2020 introduced Digital Service Tax (DST) as a tax that is payable on income derived or accrued from services offered through a digital marketplace in the country.

The Digital Tax in Kenya became effective on 1st January 2021.

DST is payable at 1.5% of the gross transaction value and is due at the time of transfer of the payment for the service to the service provider. For residents and companies with a Permanent Establishment (PE) in Kenya, the DST will be an advance tax to be offset against the income taxes due in the course of the financial year while for non-residents and companies without a Permanent Establishment in the country, the Digital Services Tax will be a final tax.

According to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Digital Tax is chargeable to services and not goods.

Who should pay for the Digital Tax in Kenya?

Resident and Non – Resident:

  1. Digital service providers
  2. Digital market place providers, or
  3. Their appointed tax representatives (in the case of non-residents digital service providers or digital marketplace providers without a permanent establishment in Kenya)

Services Chargeable under Digital Service Tax in Kenya

  • downloadable digital content including downloadable mobile applications, e-books and films;
  • over-the-top services including streaming television shows, films, music, podcasts and any form of digital content;
  • sale of, licensing of, or any other form of monetising data collected about Kenyan users which has been generated from the users’ activities on a digital marketplace;
  • provision of a digital marketplace;
  • subscription-based media including news, magazines and journals;
  • electronic data management including website hosting, online data warehousing, file-sharing and cloud storage services;
  • electronic booking or electronic ticketing services including the online sale of tickets;
  • provision of search engine and automated held desk services including supply of customised search engine services;
  • online distance training through pre-recorded media or e-learning including online courses and training; and
  • any other service provided through a digital marketplace.

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