Kenya’s lawmakers are considering the introduction of a 3% tax on cryptocurrency and nonfungible token transfers and a 15% tax on monetized online content, according to a newly introduced bill.
Introduced to the Kenyan parliament on May 4, The Finance Bill 2023 would enact a digital asset tax on “income derived from the transfer or exchange of digital assets,” and also includes specific language for NFTs.
The bill will undergo five rounds of readings, committees and reports by the National Assembly; if passed, it will then go to the president for final assent into law.
Crypto exchanges or those who initiate the transfer of crypto or NFTs would be required to collect the tax, having to deduct 3% of the transfers’ value to be paid to the government. Exchanges not registered in Kenya would have to register under the tax regime.
Kenya will now tax— Mpumelelo Ndiweni (@mpumiglobal) May 4, 2023
- monetised online content pic.twitter.com/1mlJ5dXt83
The bill also seeks to bring about a tax on “digital content monetization,” levying a 15% tax on content creators paid to promote and advertise products and services online including but not limited to sponsorships, affiliate marketing, merchandise sales and paid subscriptions.
The digital assets section of the bill has seen a mixed response online.
Some were pleased to see that crypto and NFTs were seemingly now officially recognized in the country. Previously, the Central Bank of Kenya has warned against using crypto but no outright prohibitions were put in place.
Rufas Kamau, a Kenyan research and markets analyst, tweeted on May 4 that the 3% tax wa“a joke” and sarcastically asked if it applies to “supermarket and credit card loyalty points.”
The tax rate is 3% on every transaction. What a joke!— Rufas Kamau ⚡ (@RufasKe) May 4, 2023
Kenyan crypto advocacy group, Cryptocurrency Kenya, tweeted that such a digital tax “must apply to [...] everything digital,” claiming a crypto-only tax is “targeted harassment.”
It also pointed out the tax was higher when compared to the fees charged by exchanges, comparing the government's proposed 3% tax to Binance’s 0.10% trading fee.
"For the TRANSFER or EXCHANGE value"— CRYPTOCURRENCY KENYA (@CryptoHubKE) May 4, 2023
Binance charges a 0.10% fee for trading on the platform as well as a 0.50% fee for Instant Buy/Sell
The government is looking to get 3% ...
Well...#CryptocurencyKE #SpaceYaCrypto #Bitcoin https://t.co/COr6cfxZy3
Related: Web3 economy to gain more traction in Africa through DeFi-based financial inclusion
Kenya first made an effort to regulate crypto in November, introducing amendments to its capital market laws requiring those who own or deal in crypto to report information on their activities to the authorities.
Kenya scrapes into being in the top 20 countries when it comes to crypto adoption. A September report from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis placed the country 19th in terms of crypto adoption.
Magazine: Best and worst countries for crypto taxes — Plus crypto tax tips