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Sierra Leone Digital Services Tax

1.5% DST on digital and electronic transactions Jan 2021

Sierra Leone introduced its Digital Services Tax (DST) from 1 January 2021. This was implemented via the 2021 Finance Act. The tax is levied on advertising, search and subscription services irrespective of the country of residence of the provider. The 1.5% shall be imposed on the turnover of all digital and electronic services.

There is currently global discussions via the OECD Pillar 1 DST initiative to rewrite the rules on countries taxing digital services provided by non-residents. The aim will be to reach a consensus and have unilateral DST’s, such as Sierra Leone’s, withdrawn.

Sierra Leone’s DST targets three categories of supplies:

  • Digital market supply or digital services through a digital marketplace, refers to e-platforms, whether e- medium, e-commerce, peer-to-peer (P2P), advertising- based, agency or subscription-based that include
  • downloadable digital contents, subscription-based media; software programs; electronic data management; supply of music, film, and games electronically; online sale of goods; and any online betting activity;
  • search engines and automated help desk services, online tickets, e-learning platforms, audio, vision or digital media, transport hailing platforms, among others.

Africa & Middle East Digital Services Taxes (DST)

Country Status Rate Annual sales threshold Scope
In-country income Global income
Israel Proposed 3%-5% Digital interface; advertising; user data
Kenya Jan 2021 1.5% n/a nil Digital interfaces services, including most non-resident e-services
Nigeria Jan 2022 6% NGN 25m Content; customer data; goods & services; and intermediary services
Sierra Leone Jan 2021 1.5% Ad, web and data services
South Africa Proposed
Tanzania Jan 2022 2% Digital or electronic services
Tunisia Jan 2020 3% Apps; digital services (non-resident only)
Uganda Jul 2023 5%
Zimbabwe Jan 2020 5% Digital and ecommerce



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