By Caroline Njenga
Additional taxes and levies on betting and gaming are likely to stifle growth of the budding sector.
This is according experts from tax advisory firm, PKF who are also calling on the government to zero-rate excise duty on more essential goods such as water as well as financial services to lessen the cost of living.
In this 2017/2018 proposed budget, Kenya Revenue Authority has been tasked to collect 1.7 trillion shillings.
In order for KRA to meet the set target, widening the tax net and sealing all revenue loopholes will be necessary.
Tax advisory firm PKF believes this year’s budget should focus more on increasing indirect taxes and reducing direct taxes since indirect taxes are driven by consumption of products which have high demand.
The tax experts feel that tax incentives introduced through the Finance Act 2016 are yet to materialize.
He cites expansion of the Pay As You Earn tax bands whose main aim was to reduce tax burden on employees has had very little impact.
This in addition to withholding VAT mechanism which has seen most tax payers being in the VAT refund position is affecting the cash-flow of most businesses and tax payers.
He says additional taxes on betting and gaming are punitive to the growth of the industry and that the government should consider suspending some of the levies.
PKF further called for removal of excise duty on essential items such as water, juices and financial services to lessen the cost of living.