On 30th June 2020 the president of Kenya assented the Finance Act, 2020.

One of the key changes was on the corporation tax with the introduction of the minimum tax regime. The minimum tax payment is 1% of the gross turn over.

The effective date of the tax is 1st January 2021

The tax is a base tax payable by all whether one has made a profit or not. The income that are exempted from the minimum tax are: –

  1. Income exempted by the Act
  2. Employment income
  3. Income that is subject to residential income tax
  4. Income that is subject to Turn over Tax
  5. Income that is subject to capital gains tax.
  6. Income of extractive sectors

The minimum tax will be payable in four instalments by the 20th day of the 4th, 6th, 9th, and 12th month of the year of income.

It’s important to note that instalment tax is still applicable, but however this has been set such that where the instalment tax is higher that minimum tax, then minimum tax is payable. On the other hand, if the minimum tax is higher than instalment tax, then the minimum tax becomes payable.

Of concern is that companies which report tax losses due to investment incentives granted by the government will suffer the minimum tax which claws back the intended benefit to the investor.

Covid-19 has impacted many businesses negatively and its expected that such business will suffer loses in the coming years. The irony is that whilst the government is reducing the rate of tax for profit making companies, the introduction of the minimum tax will definitely have an impact on loss making companies and some startups.

For more information on this, please feel free to contact

Benson Ngugi – benson.ngugi@attorneysafrica.com

Ken Rutere – ken.rutere@attorneysafrica.com

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