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Kenya to Tax Crypto Transactions at 20% Rate on Par With Bank Commissions

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • The Kenya Revenue Authority will have the ability to collect taxes from millions of crypto users if a new bill amendment goes through.
  • The bill aims to charge crypto transactions with a fee, similar to excise duty on bank transactions.
  • Kenya has the highest proportion of crypto-owning citizens in Africa, which could result in a large tax collection.
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Authorities in Kenya have announced that they will tax cryptocurrencies like they tax bank transactions.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has taken a step forward in taxing cryptocurrencies. The country’s lawmakers are looking to pass The Capital Markets (Amendment) Bill, which will impose a crypto tax on transactions. The charges will be similar to excise duty on bank transactions.

Crypto tax cometh

Currently, banks in Kenya charge a 20% excise duty on all commissions and fees on bank transactions. If the bill goes through, Kenyans will effectively be paying a capital gains tax on crypto if prices rise. Those who earn profits on their crypto trades will likely have to pay a tax on the earnings.

The Bill was sponsored by Mosop MP Abraham Kirwa, who had this to say about taxation:

“Where the digital currency is held for a period not exceeding twelve months, the laws relating to income tax shall apply or for a period exceeding twelve months, the laws relating to capital gains tax shall apply.”

The bill also requires Kenyan crypto traders to provide authorities with the information they need to process the crypto tax. This includes proceeds from the transaction, costs related to it, and gains or losses on it.

Kenya leading the crypto ownership race

Cryptocurrencies are popular in Kenya, with the country having the highest proportion of crypto-owning citizens in Africa. Data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) highlighted so and recommended taxation.

Only four countries have a higher proportion of crypto-owning citizens than Africa: Ukraine, Russia, Venezuela, and Singapore. The UNCTAD also recommended the mandatory registration of crypto exchanges and digital wallets.

Crypto Ownership by Country Data by UNCTAD
Crypto ownership by population: UNCTAD

The region has been improving considerably on many fronts related to the crypto market. This explains why authorities want to exert control quickly.

Crypto and blockchain adoption in Africa rapid

Crypto adoption has also been increasing in the Middle East and North Africa. This region was the fastest growing compared to the rest of the world in 2022.

Sub-Saharan Africa has also been faring well in terms of adoption, with many using the asset class for payments under $1000. Africa has also been seeing a large rise in terms of entrepreneurship, with many blockchain startups launching in the region.

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Rahul Nambiampurath
Rahul Nambiampurath's cryptocurrency journey first began in 2014 when he stumbled upon Satoshi's Bitcoin whitepaper. With a bachelor's degree in Commerce and an MBA in Finance from Sikkim Manipal University, he was among the few that first recognized the sheer untapped potential of decentralized technologies. Since then, he has helped DeFi platforms like Balancer and Sidus Heroes — a web3 metaverse — as well as CEXs like Bitso (Mexico's biggest) and Overbit to reach new heights with his...
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