KRA locks last batch of betting firms in real-time system

The taxman has hooked the last batch of 87 sports betting firms into its real-time tax payment system as it closes ranks on tax evasion in the betting industry.

This brings the total number of firms on-boarded by Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to 123, and they must now go live to be on the taxman’s radar by the end of this month or risk losing license renewal.

KRA realised an increase in collection of Excise duty and Withholding Tax (WHT) by about 30 per cent year-on-year to Sh8.7 billion since the integration process started last November. This increase is only from the 36 firms that had been hooked by mid-April 2023.

“Taxing at source is emerging global trend, steering away from the traditional trend of self-assessment of tax regime. Between November 16 2022 and 7th May 2023, KRA managed to collected a total of 8.7 billion from 36 companies from the two taxes. Implementation of this initiative has been a success,”

– said Moses Nyangeyo, Deputy Commissioner at KRA’s Domestic Taxes department.

Coordination hitches

KRA is currently pushing for full implementation of the automatic betting tax returns data transmission held by BCLB which is still conducted manually on a monthly basis, creating coordination hitches between the taxman and the sector regulator.

“This initiative has yielded significant growth in revenue collection. All gaming operators in Kenya must on board. The board is also committed that players of the industry must be cognizant of responsible gambling, protection of children, and corporate social responsibility,”

– Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) chair Jane Makau said yesterday during the integration of the 87 firms.

Firms which will not have been hooked by the end of this month will not be allowed to operate even as the sector warn that the erratic tax increment and strict compliance requirements could drive players to the neighbouring countries.


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