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Parliamentary committee proposes reduction of content creators tax

The Finance and National Planning Committee has proposed the reduction of the withholding tax for digital content creators from the 15 per cent to 5 per cent.

This comes a few days after President William Ruto said his government will not scrap the proposal but is working on a plan to ensure that content creators will not be greatly affected.

“I know when I say monetising the tax man is also listening whenever they see some people making money in some corner they arrive. I know there is a proposal in this year’s budget and digital content creators are making a statement,” President Ruto said.

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“I have told the ICT committee and the finance committee to work on it. Let us give them a bit more space to arrange themselves, but at the end wont we all pay tax. But we have heard you and we are going to work together to make sure that that does not work against what you want to do,” the head of state said.

The clause in the Finance Bill 2023 to tax content creators has been met with harsh criticism from creative who feel the government is out to kill the industry. Media Owners Association (MOA) also condemned the move saying that the government needs to give the industry time to develop.

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“The concern for the media industry is that news is increasingly being disseminated electronically or digitally and members of the general public who subscribe to such content would then be required to withhold tax when paying subscriptions. If digital content creators are taxed at this point in time when the industry is yet to develop, the youth, most of whom engage in digital content creation would be extremely demoralised,” Nation Media Group Head of External Affairs Clifford Machoka said.

MOA asked Members of Parliament to delete the proposal to introduce tax on digital content monetisation to give the industry room to grow before introducing tax.

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