Service providers in Kenya have started implementing tax charges in accordance to the recently signed Finance Act 2018. First in line were banks, who were busy sending texts and emails alerting clients of the new money transfer charges. It seems that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are following suit, after an excise duty of 15% was implemented on internet data services, up from the previous 10%. First in line being Zuku.
kenya’s largest home internet provider, Zuku, sent out notices of the change in pricing of their service offerings. “Dear client. Following publication of Finance Act 2018 on 21-Sep-18; 15% Excise Duty has been introduced on internet data. Please note we have effected the same…”
This was followed by the usual payment reminders that Zuku Fiber users get whenever their payment is due, however, this time around the fee was higher than the previous month.
A screenshot of such a message in our possession reads, “Please top up your account by 08-Oct-18: Ksh3,999.00 is needed for Zuku Service, credit available is Ksh3.00”
This amount, Kes.3,999 is Kes.499 more than the usual Kes.3,500 that subscribers pay for the 10mbps package.
Other ISPs, including telcos have not yet implemented the tax, or at least they have not yet pushed the excise duty to their subscribers. Safaricom was the first to adjust its M-Pesa pricing when the mobile money tax was raised earlier this year, but it seems the company has been reluctant in adjusting their internet pricing both for fiber and mobile data.
We, however, expect to see similar announcements that Zuku made from other players soon enough.