Parliament Exempts Artists from Excise Duty

Comedian Eddie Butita once revealed getting Ksh.86 in payment of royalties

Kenya Parliament at a past session

The National Assembly has exempted artistes from the 25% excise duty proposed in the Finance Bill.

Speaking during a Thursday’s night session in Parliament, Finance Committee chairperson Gladys Wanga moved the amendments saying that artists have been getting very little.

Artistes in this country sweat blood to be able to record and play their music and they are never rewarded. The reward is very small compared to the investment these young artistes make,” said Wanga.

The Homa Bay Woman Representative proposed exemption on excisable services supplied in Kenya, giving an example on how little artistes take home from Skiza tunes while mobile operators take majority of the share.

Additionally, Wanga announced that there are also plans to bring an amendment to the Copyright Act which will see artistes take home more in terms of revenues from ringback tunes.

“… in the sharing formula, the artist gets 16 cents out of one shilling the taxation is 25 cents Safaricom gets 51 cents… I undertake to bring an amendment to the Copyright Act so that that sharing arrangement is done in such a way that the artists get the bulk,” she added.

The Finance Bill, 2021 was published on 5th May, earlier than as was in 2020, to ensure that the Bill is assented to by the President by 30th June 2021.

The purpose: so that the proposed changes to certain tax provisions in the Income Tax Act, Value Added Tax Act, 2013, Excise Duty Act, and Tax Procedures Act, 2015 can become effective by 1st July 2021, to coincide with the beginning of the Government’s fiscal year.

Some Kenyan artistes have in the past shared their Skiza tune's royalties receiving as low as Ksh.31 in payment.

One such is comedian Eddie Butita who revealed that he received Ksh.86 in payment.

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