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Government eyes Airbnb income

The government has launched a crackdown in an attempt to regulate Airbnb operators in Kenya.

In a statement, the Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA), said they will embark on the registration and licensing of all serviced apartments, houses, and Villas operators in the country.

“Furnished apartments and private villas are among the licensed accommodation establishments that offer regulated hospitality services. They are listed in our 4th Annex of the Tourism Board Regulations 2014 and must be registered, inspected, and approved by TRA before the start of operations,” the statement signed by TRA Central’s regional director, Moses Karanja read in part.

It added that for members to be successfully registered by TRA and issued with the regulatory license, they must meet the minimum requirements for licensing these activities and services.

Operators will now be required to pay an annual fee per person for the current year rather than per unit due to the current economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Each member must pay an initial license fee for 2021 on which he will have to pay for each unit in 2022.”

According to the Airbnb website, hosts are inclined to pay value-added taxes as well as corporate income taxes.

“You may be able to deduct your expenses from income tax, so you should keep receipts for the costs of running your experiments.

“Certain other taxes or duties may be applicable. We recommend that you check with your local tax advisor or attorney if your business may be subject to additional taxes or duties.”