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Kenyans to pay more for airtime and cooking gas, but less on betting

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 2- Kenyans will now pay more for airtime as well as cooking gas but less for betting after Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani gazetted the Finance Act, 2021 days after assent by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The ascending of the law by the head of state means that the Kenya Revenue Authority can now collect the duties from the sectors going forward.

According to the gazette notice, some sections of the new law get into effect at the start of July 2021 while others will begin in January 1, 2022.

“This Act may be cited as the Finance Act, 2021, and shall come into operation, or be deemed to have come into operation, as follows— (a) sections 9, 10, 13, 14, 19, 21(a), 21(b), 21(e), 40, 50, 58, 60, 73, 75, and 76, on the 1st January, 2022,” read the notice.

The Financial Act of 2021 introduces amendments to various tax-related Acts of Parliament (Income tax, VAT, Exercise Duty, Tax Procedures and Miscellaneous fees and Levies) as well as other related statutes in the public finance sector including the Insurance Act, the Capital Markets Act, the Retirements Benefits Act, the Central Depositories Act, and the Stamp Duty Act.

The lawmakers had increased excise duty on airtime and mobile data from 15 to 20 percent, which will see the treasury raise nearly Sh8 billion from Safaricom, Airtel, and Telkom Kenya.

The price of cooking gas is also expected to rise as a 16 percent value-added tax on the commodity comes into effect.

At the same time, the MPs opted to chop 20 percent tax on winnings from gambling to 7.5 percent which the State had earlier published at end of April through the Finance Bill, 2021.

The new tax measures add to the already rising tax regime in the country as the government aims to raise monies locally in order to fund Sh3.6 trillion budget, for the financial year 2021/2022.

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The Kenya Revenue Authority is expected to collect at least Sh1.8 trillion in the new financial year up from a target of Sh1.6 trillion last year.



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