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Creatives submit joint memorandum in protest against Finance Bill 2024

A section of the creative industry organisations have submitted a joint memorandum to parliament opposing the Finance Bill 2024.

They argue that if the Bill is passed, it will have a negative impact on the growth and opportunity within the creative sector which contributes five per cent of the country’s GDP. In the memorandum, the eight organisations; representing over 8,000 members from various facets of the industry ranging from film, performing arts, content creation, music, art, literature and sports; are opposing a number of clauses in the Bill.

They are urging the parliamentarians to reject a number of clauses namely;

1. The proposal to amend the First Schedule of Cap 472 which seeks to increase excise duty on airtime and data. If passed, it will have a direct impact on creative business. For instance, revenue made from Skiza tunes. “Skiza is traded in airtime and the payments are made net of applicable taxes. We recommend that VAT and Excise on airtime and data be waived as this is not a value-added product,” the statement reads.

2. The proposal in Section 45 to charge eco levy on video cameras, SD cards, CDs, microphones, and other sound recording equipment, projectors, monitors and TV and radio broadcasting equipment. The organisation said this will further increase the cost of doing business.

3. The Proposal of replacement of 1.5 per cent Digital Service Tax with SEP Tax at 20 per cent of Gross turnover. “This will complicate the business and will also portray Kenya as a hostile market, globally, and reduce investment in Kenyan-made content. We recommend that there be a flat tax rate of 6 per cent charged on profits and that the VAT currently charged on payments to these platforms be removed.”

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