Kenya requires Upwork to collect value-added tax, or VAT, and remit the tax to the government of Kenya. VAT is a tax on goods or services, including our services to you, and remit means to send money for a payment.
Examples of services that VAT applies to in Kenya
- Marketplace fee, contract initiation fee, conversion fee, and recruiter fee
When we charge tax, it’s because your government requires us to, which means this tax may change or apply to additional services in the future.
Tax rate amount
In Kenya, the VAT rate is 16% of the cost of the service being taxed. For example, if you pay $100 USD in client marketplace fees, you will pay $16 in tax, for a total of $116.
You’ll see the estimated amount of tax when you check out and on your invoices and Transaction History.
You are not required to provide a VAT ID to Upwork, and providing a valid VAT ID does not exempt you from paying the tax. However, if you choose to provide your VAT ID, we will display it on your invoices. You can enter it in your account’s Settings > Tax Information.
Your Kenya VAT ID number is different from your tax identification number. It is a unique ID that you may request from your government by registering for VAT in Kenya. It has 11 alphanumeric characters and should look like this, for example: P999999999A.
To learn more, visit the Kenya tax authority website.
Kenya does offer tax exemption if you have a valid tax exemption certificate. Just providing your VAT ID does not provide you with tax exemption; you must have the exemption certificate.
Please contact customer service to provide a tax exemption certificate for our review.
If you change locations and update this information in your account by visiting Settings › My Info › Contact Info, we will automatically adjust your VAT to correspond with the rates in your new country of residence or stop collecting if there is no VAT, or a similar tax, in your new country.
This article is for general information only and should not be considered tax advice. It may not be updated in real time and may not reflect recent changes. We strongly encourage you to consult your country’s tax authority or your tax advisor with questions related to your specific situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Kenya’s VAT applies to services we provide to both freelancers and clients if they reside, have a permanent address, or are established in Kenya.
We’re required to comply with the tax laws of the countries where we operate to continue to do business in those countries. Kenya requires that we collect VAT on Upwork services and remit them to your government.
No, you are not required to provide us with your VAT ID. Kenya does not require us to have it.
However, if you choose to provide your VAT ID, we will display it on your invoices and Transaction History. If you would like to enter it so that it will be displayed, you may do so by entering it in your account’s Settings > Tax Information.
Yes, we will still collect VAT. Kenya does not exempt you from the tax if you provide your VAT ID.
We are still required to collect VAT even if you are only residing in a country temporarily. If you move to another country, you can update your information in your account’s Settings › My Info › Contact Info. We will automatically adjust your VAT to correspond with the rates in your new country of residence or stop collecting if there is no VAT, or a similar tax, in your new country.
If you are exempt from VAT, you will need to provide your valid tax exemption certificate. Once we have received your certificate, we will no longer charge you for VAT.
Note that providing your VAT ID does not provide you with tax exemption, you must provide a valid tax exemption certificate.