Kenya: Life to get tougher in funding of Sh3trn budget

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich arrives at Parliament buildings on June 13, 2019 to read the 2019/2020 Budget. Mr Rotich has proposed to slap a 10 per cent tax on all bets as they are placed.

A detailed Treasury document has revealed just how taxpayers will contribute to the next financial year’s budget. Besides the tax increments announced on Thursday, the government hopes to collect at least Sh238 billion through charging for its services in what is known as Appropriations in Aid.

The revenue generation plan has exerted more pressure on departments to generate more money from lawbreakers, those seeking certificates of good conduct, visas, passports, national identity cards and other services. Cumulatively, they will all be required to grow their incomes by at least 15 per cent in the coming financial year, whose gross budget stands at Sh3.02 trillion.

In total, the government plans to raise Sh2.1 trillion in the coming 2019/20 financial year through a mix of taxes and fees as its internally generated revenue. The rest will come from borrowing. The document tabled in Parliament this week shows that court-related fines, penalties and forfeitures will help the government collect Sh1.6 billion this year. This represents an increase of 14 per cent compared to the year that is ending.


More money will come from the sale of tender documents, certificates of good conduct, royalties and fishing rights, among others. For instance, issuing certificates of good conduct is expected to raise at least Sh865.7 million this coming year. This year, this service has generated Sh859.5 million to the exchequer.

Employers, including some government departments, require job seekers to get certificates of good conduct as part of efforts to ensure they hire people of high integrity. Other revenue centres will be the registration of births and deaths (Sh322 million), visas (Sh4.3 billion), passport fees (Sh1.1 billion), work permit fees (Sh1.7 billion), identity card fees (Sh122 million) and other immigration fees (Sh5.8 billion).

Besides the new taxes announced on Thursday that will only raise an additional Sh37 billion, it is where the remainder will come from that will cost Kenyans the most.


Income tax from individuals, what is known as Pay As You Earn (Paye), will generate Sh468.4 billion next year. This is an increment of about Sh65.1 billion more, compared to the Sh403.3 billion that the government hopes to get by the end of the current financial year that ends in two weeks. Paye is the tax charged on all individuals earning a salary from employment. Employers are required to deduct this amount from their staff and remit it to the taxman at the end of every month.

Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich says he will introduce a new income tax law this year that will help raise additional taxes. It is not yet clear what parts of the income taxes he will target, but he says top earners have not been paying their fair share of taxes. On their part, companies and other enterprises are expected to pay corporate taxes amounting to Sh416.1 billion in the new financial year, a 22 per cent jump from the Sh339.1 billion expected this year.


In the new fiscal year, betting tax (winnings, gaming, lotteries and betting) is expected to raise Sh14 billion. This is Sh800 million more than what the multibillion-shilling industry is expected to net this year. Mr Rotich has proposed to slap a 10 per cent tax on all bets as they are placed, in an effort to discourage betting, which he said has come with negative impacts on the youth. Betting, lotteries and gaming licences will net Sh294 million.

Electricity levies should earn government Sh2.3 billion while the petroleum development levy has a Sh1.8 billion target. Those who buy second-hand motor vehicles will help the National Treasury raise a targeted amount of Sh224 billion while selling properties at a profit will raise the government Sh4.6 billion in taxes.

The cement levy on its part is expected to earn the state Sh686.9 million. Royalties on carbon dioxide, mining, magadi soda and base titanium will earn the state Sh51.2 million, Sh144 million, Sh147 million and Sh623 million, respectively.


Getting fishing rights will also come at a cost. In total, the state hopes the sector will afford it at least Sh194 million through levies charged on fishing rights. When he is done collecting all these monies, Mr Rotich hopes the taxes on income, profits, and capital gains will generate Sh884.3 billion. Cumulatively, all taxes on goods and services are projected to earn the government Sh842.9 billion while taxes from international trade and transactions will generate Sh196.1 billion.

The new taxes are generating mixed reactions from citizens, companies and politicians. On Friday, the Alcoholic Beverages Association of Kenya (Abak) protested the move to increase excise taxes on various alcohol categories. “The proposal to increase excise tax on wines and spirits by 15 per cent while retaining the annual inflation-adjusted tax escalation on all categories is not only detrimental to the industry’s growth, but also a drawback on the multiagency efforts to address illicit alcohol in Kenya,” Mr Gordon Mutugi, the Abak chair said.

Source: Daily Nation