The government has laid the burden of financing its budget to low income earners with a 15 percent taxation aimed at raising a total of 1.8 trillion shillings of the planned Sh3.02 trillion, spending.Security guards, drivers cleaners, promotional sales agents and catering staff offering services outside of their eateries are among the lowest-income earners who will be squeezed dry to help National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich raise the Sh1.8 trillion in new tax measures.
Employers of these low income earners will be subjected to a 15 percent taxation, an amount they will fund from their employees whenever they file their annual returns. Rotich said the the purpose of the proposals was to expand the scope of application of withholding tax in a measure that would “enhance tax compliance by persons offering these services.”
Gamblers and those in sports betting as well as gamers were hardest hit too.They will pay 10 per cent of the amount they want to bet up front in excise duty, irrespective of the outcome of their prediction – win or lose.Placing a bet worth Sh 50 which is the minimum amount,means the amount staked is only Sh40 as the Sh10 is handed over to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
“Betting has become widespread in our society and its expansion has had negative social effects, particularly to the young and vulnerable members of our society. In order to curtail the negative effects arising from betting activities,” Rotich said.
Alcoholic drinkers and cigarette smokers were not spared either in the search for new revenue streams.Under the new proposal, a 750ml bottle of wine will have an excise duty of Sh136 which is Sh18 more from the current rate.The duty of a bottle of whiskey will go up by Sh24 to Sh182 for a 750ml bottle.Smokers on the other hand have the excise duty on a packet of 20 cigarettes increased by Sh8 to Sh61 per packet.