Kenya Taxes

1. Income Tax

Income tax is a direct tax charged upon all the income of a person, whether resident or non-resident, which accrued in or was derived from Kenya.


Income Tax is imposed on;

  • Business income from any trade or profession
  • Employment income
  • Rent income
  • Investment income
  • Income from services rendered among others
  • Pensions among others


There are different methods of collecting income tax from companies & partnerships, based on their sources of income.


These methods include:


a. Corporation Tax

This is a form of Income Tax that is levied on corporate bodies such as Limited companies, Trusts, and Co ? operatives, on their annual income.

Companies that are based outside Kenya but operate in Kenya or have a branch in Kenya pay Corporation Tax on income accrued within Kenya only.

Do partnerships pay corporation tax?


b. Pay As You Earn (PAYE)

This is a method of collecting tax at source from individuals in gainful employment.

Companies and Partnerships with employees are required to deduct tax according to the prevailing tax rates from their employees? salaries or wages on each payday for a month and remit the same to KRA on or before the 9th of the following month.


c. Withholding Tax (WHT)

This is a tax that is deductible from certain classes of income at the point of making a payment, to non-employees.

WHT is deducted at source from the following sources of income:

  • Interest
  • Dividends
  • Royalties
  • Management or professional fees (including consultancy, agency or contractual fees)
  • Commissions
  • Pensions
  • Rent received by non-residents
  • Other payments specified

Companies and partnerships making the payment, are responsible for deducting and remitting the tax to the Commissioner of Domestic Taxes.


d. Advance Tax

This is a tax paid in advance before a public service vehicle or a commercial vehicle goes for the annual inspection.


e. Installment Tax

Installment tax is paid by persons who have tax payable for any year that amounts to Kshs. 40,000 and above.


2. Rental Income Tax

This is a tax charged on rental income received from renting out property. Taxation of rental income depends on how the rented property was used for residential or commercial purposes.


Companies and Partnerships that rent out property to other persons for either residential or commercial use are required to pay income tax on rent received


To facilitate compliance, KRA appoints agents to withhold and pay, a percentage of the gross rent as tax. These agents can be verified via the agent checker on iTax.


3. Value Added Tax (VAT)

Value Added Tax is charged on supply of taxable goods or services made or provided in Kenya and on importation of taxable goods or services into Kenya.


While companies & partnerships can voluntarily register for VAT they MUST register if their annual revenue exceeds Kshs. 5,000, 000.


To facilitate compliance, KRA appoints agents to withhold and pay, VAT on supplies made. These agents can be verified via the agent checker on iTax.


4. Excise Duty

This is a duty of excise imposed on;

  • goods manufactured in Kenya, or;
  • imported into Kenya and specified in the 1st schedule to Excise Duty Act, 2015.


Companies and Partnerships dealing in excisable good and services are required to pay excise duty.

The List and types of Excisable goods and services are listed in the 5th Schedule as read together with Section 117 (1) (d) of the Customs and Excise Act, CAP 472 Laws of Kenya.


They includes;

  • Mineral water
  • Juices, soft drinks
  • Cosmetics and Preparations for use on hair
  • Other beer made from malt
  • Opaque beer
  • Mobile cellular phone services
  • Fees charged for money transfer among others


5. Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

This is a form of income tax which is charged on a net gain that a business makes after sale of land or building.



6. Agency Revenue

This is a type of payment that KRA collects on behalf of various revenue collection agencies in Kenya.

The two types of Agency Revenue include;

  • Stamp Duty
  • Betting and Pool Tax

a. Stamp Duty

Stamp duty is a tax charged on transfer of properties, shares and stock.


It is collected by the Ministry of Lands, which has seconded the function to Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).


b. Betting and Pool Tax

This is a tax charged on winnings from betting, gaming and lottery activities.


Betting, gaming and lottery businesses are required to withhold as tax, and pay to KRA, a percentage of the winnings being paid out to winners.