Press Release
The discourse surrounding the controversial Finance Bill 2024 continues as the creative industry weighs in. The Finance Bill 2024  proposes changes to the Income Tax Act, VAT Act of 2013, Excise Duty Act, Tax Procedures Act of 2015, and the Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act, among other statutes. Unless specified otherwise, these changes will take effect on 1 July 2024.
Over 8000 members under the Creative Industry of Kenya umbrella have submitted a joint memorandum to The National Assembly in response to the Finance Bill 2024. Representing members of the creative industry, including film, performing arts, content creation, music, visual art, literature, and sports, the memorandum outlines proposals that negatively impact the sector's growth and opportunities.
Kenya's creative sector contributes 5% to the national GDP, creates jobs, and enhances lifestyle quality. The government aims to see this sector thrive. Therefore, the memorandum urges The National Assembly to reject the following proposals:
  1. Amendment to Cap 472, Part II: Increasing excise duty on airtime and data will hinder the digital economy and impact creative businesses, such as musicians on SKIZA. The memorandum recommends waiving VAT and excise on airtime, internet, and data.
  2. Section 45: Charging an eco levy on video cameras, SD cards, CDs, microphones, projectors, monitors, TV, and radio broadcasting equipment will raise business costs.
  3. Clause 25 (D): Removing the KES 24,000 per month withholding tax relief will harm smaller and newer creators. The memorandum proposes raising the relief limit to KES 49,999.
  4. Clause 8: Replacing the 1.5% Digital Service Tax with a 20% SEP Tax on Gross Turnover will complicate business and deter global investment in Kenyan content. A 6% flat tax on profits and removal of VAT on platform payments is recommended.
  5. Amendment to Cap 470, Clause 6: Removing exemptions for amateur sports organizations will undermine the development of sports. The memorandum suggests expanding existing exemptions in line with the Talanta Hela initiative by the Ministry of Sports.
Additionally, the memorandum welcomes the recognition of the digital marketplace and recommends it be declared a Special Economic Zone to boost public investment and global competitiveness.
*Featured Image: Treasury Cabinet Secretary Professor Njuguna Ndung'u jULY 2023. FILE: Nation 

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