The National Assembly passed the Finance Bill, 2018 on 30 August 2018. In approving the Bill, the National Assembly rejected most of the revenue raising measures that the National Treasury had proposed including the now infamous ‘Robin Hood tax’.
In addition, the National Assembly sought to defer for a further two years the effective date for introduction of VAT on petroleum products. The Speaker of the National Assembly presented the bill to the President for his assent on 13 September 2018. The President, exercising powers under Article 115 of the Constitution refused to assent to the Bill and sent it back to the National Assembly for reconsideration. His main reasons were that the changes would disrupt important government programs whose budget the National Assembly had already approved. In addition, it would force the government which is reeling under debt to borrow more.
On 20 September, 2018 the National Assembly deliberated and approved the President’s memorandum of changes. The President assented to the revised Finance Bill, 2018 on 21 September 2018.
While the introduction of VAT on petroleum products has dominated public debate, the changes present an unprecedented disruption of the tax regime that will impact the economy and citizenry for years to come.
Click the link below to read our summary of the revenue measures and their implications:
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