Kenyans will now enjoy a 15% tax relief for purchasing houses under the recently introduced Affordable Housing Scheme. President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law an amendment to the Income Tax Act to create a new provision that establishes an Affordable Housing Relief set at 15% of the gross emoluments. Affordable housing is one of the Big Four Agendas of this presidential term and the government intends to put up 500,000 new houses by the end of the term in 2022.
The amendment to the Income Tax Act also includes the introduction of a compensation tax for power producers under a power producing agreement.
President Kenyatta also approved an amendment to the Stamp Duty Act exempting first-time home buyers under the Affordable Housing Scheme from Stamp Duty.
Other amendments to the Stamp Duty Act include provisions intended to fast track valuations at the Ministry of Lands by giving the Collector of Stamp Duties power to refer a valuation of property to a registered and practicing valuer for purposes of determining the rate of Stamp Duty payable.
The President has also approved amendments to the VAT Act effectively zero rating ordinary bread, copra, linseeds and mustard seeds. The amendments to the VAT Act also extend to inputs or raw materials for electric accumulators and separators. This is in a bid to support the manufacturing pillar of the Big Four Agenda by making manufacturing of the items, especially batteries, cheaper.