Kenya Plans To Tax Netflix And YouTube

The ICT ministry of Kenya is now in the final stages of developing a framework which will be used to tax foreign online media streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube. As a result, all Over The Top (OTT) services will soon be required to declare the income that they from their Kenyan consumers.

Over The Top (OTT) services  include all applications which offer messaging and voice services via the internet.

The Director General of the Communications Authority (CA); Francis Wangusi stated that online content providers exploit the Kenyan industry while neither the government nor artistes benefit from them.

Mr. Wangusi while speaking to Business Daily said, “Many countries especially developed ones have policies that guide these services, and that is where we are heading to as a country.”

The Director General also stated that traditional distribution channels have been weakened, adding that the technologies which will facilitate the taxation of Over The Top (OTT) services, are available.

Mr. Wangusi said, “I believe the Over The Top (OTT) services will declare the correct revenues, considering that the international community is also watching them.”

Mr. Wangusi also made it known that once a policy is developed, the government will have the grounds to shut down those that will not adhere to the rules.

The proposed policy framework will also ensure that foreign advertisements which air in the Kenyan market will be subjected to taxation as well.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has already announced plans to collaborate with the Communications Authority (CA) to introduce Value Added Tax (VAT) obligations for app developers who ply their trade in Kenya.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) will target apps with in-app purchases, those that sell goods and services and those that require users to pay before downloading.

The Director General of the Communications Authority (CA) urged parents and teachers to encourage young people to seek help from the right authorities anytime they are faced with online risks and vulnerabilities which include cybercrimes as well as abuse and sexual exploitation.

While speaking on the sidelines of the National Music Festivals, Mr. Wangusi stated that “Several authorities including the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, CA’s cybercrime investigations arm and the department of children services are some of the places parents and the community need to encourage the youth to run to.”

According to Business Daily, the Director General also cited online grooming, solicitation, cyber bullying, stalking, sexting, identity theft, catfishing and exposure to child abuse content as some of the risks children in Kenya, are exposed to.