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Google, Bankers, NSE to give MPs their two cents on Finance Bill

In the proposed amendment the National Treasury wants the law changed to define ‘Digital marketplace’ as “a platform that enables the direct interaction between buyers and sellers of goods and services through electronic means.”/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 19 – Google Kenya, Content Development and Intellectual Consolidators are among 19 key entities shortlisted by Parliament to submit their views on the Finance Bill which will among other things seek to tax online businesses.

The National Treasury has proposed amendments to the Income Tax Act which will require online businesses to charge Value Added Tax (VAT) once the bill becomes law.

The Bill proposes to amend Section 3 of the Income Tax Act by introducing a new paragraph under the charging section, which emphasizes that income accruing through a digital marketplace be chargeable to tax.

In the proposed amendment the National Treasury wants the law changed to define ‘Digital marketplace’ as “a platform that enables the direct interaction between buyers and sellers of goods and services through electronic means.”

According to a notice published in today’s newspapers, Clerk of the National Assembly Michael Sialai says the two entities are slated to appear before the House Committee on Finance and National Planning on Wednesday.

“The Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning invites the following organizations and persons for Public Hearings on the Finance Bill 2019 on Wednesday, 21 August 2019 and Thursday, August 22, 2019 at KICC following the submissions of memoranda on the same. Any other persons who may wish to orally submit their views on the Bill are also invited to attend,” Sialai said in the notice.

Lawyer Tom Ojienda, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, Julius Njiraini from Kenya CyberSecurity & Forensics Association are among four individuals lined to make their submissions on the Bill which illustrates the governments’ priorities, which include increasing revenue mobilization and a growing focus on the digital marketplace.

The Kenya Bankers Association, Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya, Nairobi Securities Exchange, audit firms Price WaterHouse Coopers and KPMG will also present their submission on the omnibus Bill which is proposing to repeal Section 33B of the Banking Act, which introduced capping of interest rates over three year ago.

Most of the provisions are slated to become effective on October 1.

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