- A vocal Bein advises artists to avoid paying tax in Kenya against the government.
- He recommends content creators should open offshore accounts and be paid internationally.
- The Finance Act 2023 remains suspended citing it is unconstitutional, and now forwarded to the Chief Justice for her actions.
Bien in the company of band members called on Kenyan content creators to avoid paying tax. He advised this was possible through offshore accounts that will ensure they are paid like international artists, avoiding taxation in Kenya.
“Our accounts are in Switzerland and Mauritius, and we are paid via our offshore accounts. Hatuna hiyo shida sisi (Creative industry tax). In fact, all artists get offshore accounts; Mauritius, Georgia, Switzerland…you know there’s many places. Get offshore accounts, get paid internationally. Wacha kulipwa hapo Kenya. Ukilipwa hapo Kenya you will be taxed, by an undeserving government! Nkt” ranted Bien Aimé Baraza.
The Finance Act 2023 on the Creative Industry
There has been reservations from content creators that it was premature to treat the industry as professionals. They argued that the industry is still struggling to find its footing and structures to be able to claim it as sustainable and taxable.
Timothy ‘Njugush’ Kimani, one of the most successful content creators argues that his company is already taxed as an outfit and taxing him again as an individual will amount to double taxation.
“For me I feel that is unfair. For example, I have an incorporated and a limited company. All I do from Emceeing and online activities I put together and pay all my taxes under Njugush Creatives limited. Does it mean with this new Finance Act 2023 coming into place, aside from my company I will need delink myself as a content creator and pay another tax as Njugush?” Njugush
With the bill implemented arguably from July 1st, content creators will now be required to withhold 1.5% of the payment and remit it to the government.
They also highlighted difficulty in regulating it to a taxable equity arguing that a good number are Gen z on their minor ages with no PIN introducing tax equity complications.
Some also argued that the tax structure did not take into consideration the investments to produce content. That in most cases they might earn the fame only, but subjected to taxation which will kill the industry.
Finance Act 2023 remains Suspended
Although the Act in contempt of court is being implemented as from July 1st, it remains suspended after a successful petition by Senator Okiya Omtata along with MP Otiende Amollo and other activists.
The courts ruled it was unconstitutional requiring the government to appeal. It was yesterday forwarded to the Chief Justice to deliberate further through a bench of judges on its implementation.
The Kenya Kwanza side of the government have expressed their frustration on the suspension claiming it will create a revenue and budgetary crisis, crippling critical government services. Otiende Amollo and Okiya Omtata however argue otherwise, that the bigger risk is legalizing the illegality.