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Kenya to start taxing YouTube, Netflix

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Netflix in Kenya: Kenya is set to start taxing online streaming media services including YouTube and Netflix. This has been revealed by the Communications Authority (CA) director-general Francis Wangusi. According to Mr. wangusi, the ministry for information communication and technology is in the final stages of developing the framework that will be used to effect the taxes.

“Many countries especially developed ones have policies that guide these services, and that is where we are heading to as a country,” Mr. Wangusi was quoted by the Daily Nation on Friday. “I believe the OTTs will declare the correct revenues, considering that the international community is also watching them.” The paper further added that Mr. Wangusi also said that once a policy is developed the government will have grounds to shut down those that will not adhere to the rules.

Netflix in Kenya

“The proposed policy framework will also ensure that foreign advertisements that air in the Kenyan market are subjected to taxation. Already, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has announced plans to collaborate with CA to introduce VAT obligations for app developers trading in Kenya. The taxman will target apps with in-app purchases, those that sell goods and services and those that require users to pay before downloading,” the paper reported.

Netflix was founded by Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings in 1997. The California-based company began operating as a DVD rental company though it started its video internet-based streaming services in early 2007. Netflix announced the rolling out of its services globally to 130 countries; Kenya included, during the consumer electronics show held in Las Vegas, USA on January 6 2016.

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