Social media influencers among those to pay Digital Service Tax

Kenya Revenue Authority has (KRA) has revealed that Social media influencers will be among those who will pay the Digital Service Tax introduced early this year.
Through the official KRA official social media pages, the tax man said that since their income is derived from or accrued from the provision of services through a digital marketplace or by providing digital advertising services in Kenya, they are liable to pay the Digital Service Tax (DST).
Many Kenyans are yet to understand digital services that are eligible for the Digital Service Tax. However, the tax man seems to be going for anyone and everyone who is earning through digital platforms.
Also affected are individuals making money from streaming videos or music content, anyone offering online courses and entrepreneurs with e-commerce sites.
A majority of Kenyans working online decried the introduction of the tax at this time. While many are not opposed to paying the digital service tax, many are of the opinion that it shouldn’t have been introduced at a time many business are facing hard time due to the impact of Covid-19.
The ICT cabinet secretary Joe Mucheru had earlier on stated that ICT sector had grown exponentially and online services had grown into a multi-billion sector.
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A detailed list of services to be taxed under the Digital Service Tax is as below.
Services that will attract Digital Service Tax

  1.       Subscription based media services such as news and magazines
  2.       Online ticketing services
  3.       Online Digital content such as Mobile Apps
  4.       Over the top streaming services, including TV shows, films, music, podcasts, among other forms of digital content.
  5.       Online distance training through prerecorded media or e-learning platforms and courses.
  6.       Ecommerce platforms
  7.       Sale, licensing or any form of monetizing data collected from Kenyan users.
  8.       Any other service provided through a digital marketplace.
  9.       Provision of search engine services and automated held desk services such as automated instant feedback services, chatbots, remote support, and service desks, including customised search engine services.

With the introduction of the DST, a number of subscription services are expected to be see a price increase.
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