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Rwanda VAT on digital services review

18% VAT liabilities on non-resident B2C providers of streaming media, gaming and software

Rwanda’s Revenue Authority is considering a proposal to levy Value Added Tax on the providers of digital or electronic services to consumers. This would particularly target non-resident steaming and download media, app’s and software.

The current VAT rate in Rwanda is 18%.

The introduction of VAT would recognise that the consumption tax is due in the jurisdiction of the customer – the destination principle. Many other African countries have already imposed VAT on foreign providers, including South Africa, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. You can follow VAT Calc’s global VAT and GST on digital services tracker to see which other countries have introduced indirect taxes on electronic services to consumers.

Rwanda is being assisted by the OECD and African Tax Administration Forum is performing an impact assessment, and potential design.

What digital services could become liable to VAT?

Common B2C electronic or digital services that could be included are:

  • Software and the updating of software
  • Gaming including games of chance
  • Images, text and information
  • Access to databases
  • Self-education packages
  • Streaming or download music and films
  • Websites, web hosting or remote maintenance of programs and equipment
  • Political, cultural, artistic, sporting, scientific and other broadcasts and events, including broadcast television

Africa & Middle East VAT on digital services

Comments (click for details) Rate Date Threshold Comments
Algeria 9% Jan 2020 Nil
Angola 14% Oct 2019
Bahrain 10% Jan 2019 Nil
Benin 18% Oct 2023 TBC
Cameroon 19.5% Jan 2020 XAF 50 million
Egypt 14% Sep 2016 EGP 500,000
Ghana 12.5% Apr 2022 GHS 200,000
Israel 17% TBC Proposals withdrawn
Ivory Coast 18% 2022 -
Kenya 16% Sep 2013 - Registration threshold removed 2023
Kuwait 5% Jan 2024? - TBC
Mauritius 15% 2020
Nigeria 7.5% Jan 2020 $25,000
Oman 5% Apr 2021 OMR 35,000
Rwanda 18% TBC
Saudi Arabia 15% Jan 2018 Nil
Senegal 18% Jan 2023 Nil Fiscal representative required
Sierra Leone 15% SLE 100,000
South Africa 15% Jun 2014 ZAR 1 million
Tanzania 18% Jul 2022 Nil Residents since Jul 2015
Tunisia 19% Jan 2020 Nil Withholding VAT; 3% Royalty Tax
Uganda 18% Jan 2020 UGX 150m
United Arab Emirates 5% Jan 2018 AED 375,000
Zimbabwe 14.5% Jan 2020 Nil
Zambia 16% 2024?


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