The Finance Bill, 2020 (the Bill) was tabled in the National Assembly for debate and approval on 6 May 2020. This is a departure from previous years where Finance Bills would be introduced to the National Assembly after the reading of the national budget in June. This change was necessitated by recent constitutional interpretations issued by the courts which barred the government from collecting taxes before the relevant tax provisions are approved by the National Assembly.
This will give the National Assembly time to approve the Bill in time for implementation of the tax measures when the government calendar start on 1 July, effectively allowing the government to match revenue collection and expenditure for the year.
The publication of the Bill comes barely ten days after the President assented to the Tax Laws (Amendment) Act, 2020 which introduced far reaching changes to the tax legislation. The Bill builds on these changes through the proposed introduction of a minimum tax to be paid by taxpayers whether there are loss making or not, increase in the rental income tax from 10% to 15% and the creation of a mechanism for the implementation of transit toll roads which is a critical cog in getting the private sector to invest in the construction of roads.
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