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It's pretty much official: park fees are going up 16%

Ukunda, Coast, Kenya
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It's pretty much official: park fees are going up 16%

The Nairobi Star newspaper confirms the new 16% VAT tax will apply to national parks:

the-star.co.ke/news/…vat-blow-local-tourism

Something to consider if you are booking a safari or have already booked one but not embarked. It's possible the tour company may hit you up for an additional 16% when you show up for your safari. Hopefully this won't happen but you'd better be prepared with additional cash if it does.

Edited: 08 September 2013, 00:51
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Mtwapa, Kenya
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1. Re: It's pretty much official: park fees are going up 16%

The new Bill also means that transport and tour packages and services are also now included at 16%, it looks like people who have not paid in full for a tour package or received a final invoice before 2 September may also be asked to pay the extra tax as the Bill says

"12. (l) Subject to subsection (3), the time of supply, including a supply of imported services, shall be the earlier of-

(a) the date on which the goods are delivered or services performed;

(b) the date on which the invoice for the supply is issued; or

(c) the date on which payment for the supply is received, in whole or in part."

The Bill will probably also affect the cost of flights as purchase and lease of aircraft, transportation of tourists and jet fuel are also subject to tax after three years of exemption, (considered as a transition period).

UK
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2. Re: It's pretty much official: park fees are going up 16%

It looks like National Parks may be exempt, as government entities. National Reserves (like the Maasai Mara) may not be, and private conservancies are definitely in line for VAT. But there's a lot of confusion in the tourism industry in Kenya, with many local businesses actively lobbying the government to review exactly what is and isn't covered in the new act. The Kenya Revenue Authority certainly seems to be taking a very generous view of what is covered…

Internal flights and charters should not be subject to VAT. Hotels, camps, lodges and restaurants already are. As I understand it, it's conservancy fees and ground transport costs that are the biggest targets as they haven't previously been VAT-able.

Lots of fun and games ahead.

Richard Trillo

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Masai Mara National Reserve
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Rift Valley Province, Kenya
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Mtwapa, Kenya
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3. Re: It's pretty much official: park fees are going up 16%

Richard,

according to the business pages of the Standard on Monday the vat charges on park and reserve fees have been implemented

Mtwapa, Kenya
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4. Re: It's pretty much official: park fees are going up 16%

and the Nation had this on Sunday

"Tour firms to raise fees as VAT begins to bite"

http://www.nation.co.ke/counties/Tour+firms+to+raise+fees+as+VAT+begins+to+bite/-/1107872/1993798/-/398shbz/-/index.html

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5. Re: It's pretty much official: park fees are going up 16%

Perhaps Monika (quoted in that story) could comment here? Because I can't see how a 1000 dollar trip can now coast 1160. It's only the entrance fees and transport that are/might be affected. So far I've been warned of possible rises of something like 5 to 8%, bearing in mind accommodation, meals and drink are already VATable.

But the good operators and owners are arguing this one with their accountants against the tax authorities and will continue to do so until the last moment.

The KWS website is its usual, quiet self. No change there, and no changes to national park fees so far.

Richard

Edited: 19 September 2013, 00:22
Ukunda, Coast, Kenya
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6. Re: It's pretty much official: park fees are going up 16%

I downloaded the VAT Act and I didn't see national parks on the list of exemptions (unless they were disguised under another category). That, together with the media reports, which I know can be sloppy, was the basis of my post.

The acid test is for someone to enter a park and report back. Hopefully someone can do this soon.

7. Re: It's pretty much official: park fees are going up 16%

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