VAT Concept on Place of Use or Consumption – The Case of Kenya

The determination of the place of use or consumption of services for VAT purposes has been a subject of contention for years in Kenya. A major issue is that, due to a lack of clarity in the Kenyan VAT legislation, taxable persons feel that tax authorities do not distinguish between “performance” and “consumption” when implementing the destination principle. Against this background, the author addresses the need, in general, for Kenya to adopt international best practices in line with the OECD International VAT/GST Guidelines. In particular, this article aims to enhance the discussion on the need for place-of-use or consumption guidelines in Kenya, by highlighting the practices in other jurisdictions as well as the challenges faced by the business community. It is also expected to be a useful guide for the National Treasury and National Assembly as they review the draft Kenyan VAT regulations.