Google, Other Global Tech Firms Start Charging 16 Percent VAT in Kenya

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As required by the Value Added Tax (Digital Marketplace Supply) (Amendment) Regulations of 2022, global technology companies and firms have begun charging a 16% VAT on their services. Companies like Google (as well as Zoom and QuickBooks, and soon, more) have announced that they will apply the tax to their Kenyan customers starting on February 1, 2023, and have informed customers of this development.

“Due to new tax legislation in Kenya, starting February 1, 2023, Google will be required to charge 16% tax on all taxable goods and services. In addition to this, to comply with local laws, we are required to collect your tax information. Please update your Kenya PIN number in your Google payments profile. Once updated, you should start seeing the PIN in your Google invoices. We recommend providing your pin number as soon as possible to ensure our invoice includes this transformation. Failure to provide your PIN by February 1, 2023, may cause issues with the invoice validity and possible implications for recovery of VAT costs if you are entitled to reclaim,” says Google in a message to customers.

How to update Google tax information  

  1. Sign into your Google Admin Console.
  2. From the console home page click Menu on the top left side, then billing, and then payment accounts.
  3. Point to your subscriptions, then click more, and then via payments settings.
  4. After that, in the Kenya PIN number section, click the pencil icon (for edits) and enter your PIN number.
  5. Save.

Prior to the law going into effect, the Act amended the definition of a digital marketplace by replacing “sell or provide services, goods or other property” with “sell goods or provide services.”

It also amended the VAT Act to exempt services provided over the internet or through a digital marketplace from Reverse VAT.

Additionally, the Act amended the VAT Act to exclude individuals who supply imported digital services over the internet or through a digital marketplace from the KES 5 million VAT registration threshold.

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Kenn Abuya is a friend of technology, with bias in enterprise and mobile tech. Share your thoughts, tips and hate mail at [email protected]

1 COMMENT

  1. It occurs at a time when other multinational corporations have notified their clients of the upcoming application for the VAT tax.

    They include e-book retailers and video conferencing providers, as well as Netflix and Spotify.

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