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Experience Host

What kind of taxes do I need to pay as an experience host in Kenya?

These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.

Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.

Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have not changed recently.*

What kind of taxes do I need to pay as an Experience Host?

If you are an Experience Host, you should make sure you understand each of the following types of taxes, and pay the ones that apply to your experience:

You may be able to deduct your expenses from income taxes, so you should keep receipts of the costs of running your experiences.

Some other taxes or duties may be applicable. We recommend you to check with your local tax advisor or attorney whether your activity may be subject to additional taxes or duties.


In general, hosts who are in business need to charge VAT on the price of their Experience.

Do I need to collect any VAT from guests if I’m hosting an Experience in Kenya?

Taxes can be complicated, and you should take time to understand the rules as they apply to you and your particular situation.

Value Added Tax (VAT) in Kenya is a general, broadly based consumption tax assessed on the value added to goods and services. It applies more or less to all goods and services that are bought and sold for use or consumption.

You may need to assess the VAT consequences of the Experience you offer if;

  • your country of residence is Kenya, or;
  • if you are not resided in Kenya, but the country where you offer your experience is Kenya, and;
  • you expect the fees you earn or the fees you actually earn from hosting Experiences together with any other business activities you conduct are Kenya Shillings five million (KES 5 million) or more in any period of twelve months.

In that case, you may also be allowed to deduct input VAT incurred. We encourage you to consult a tax advisor in your area for more insight, or if you need assistance assessing VAT on the services you provide.

VAT applies to my Experience. How do I determine how much tax I need to collect from my Guests?

VAT rates differ per country and change periodically. We recommend you to check on a regular basis with your local tax authority to get the most up to date rates for the country where you are required to pay VAT.

At the date of issuance of this document, the general VAT rates applicable in Kenya are 16% although a rate of 0% is applicable for zero-rated items. Different rates or even an exemption may be applicable depending on the service provided. More information about VAT rates in Kenya can be found here.

In case your experience consists out of several elements, you may have to charge different VAT rates (16% or 0%) for your supplied experience although this is unlikely. We recommend you to check this with your local tax advisor.

VAT applies to my Experience. How do I collect VAT from guests?

As an Airbnb host, if you determine that you need to collect VAT, please keep in mind that you have to collect VAT from your guests and report and remit this VAT in a periodical VAT return. Based on the VAT rules and regulations in Kenya, a service supplier should issue an invoice to its customers, containing the consideration for the supply and the amount of VAT charged. The Airbnb Experience Host should in all cases make a clear distinction between the price for the service and the VAT due in their pricing as well as on any invoices raised to the guest.

Some formalities, such as issuing a receipt or an invoice to your guests, may be required. Please find more information on this here.

We recommend you to check your obligations with regard to pricing and VAT and the applicable invoice requirements with a local tax advisor.

VAT applies to my Experience. How do I file and pay my taxes?

You may need to register for VAT purposes within Kenya (depending on the services provided and whether the fees you earn for providing the services are Kenya Shillings five million (KES 5 million) or more in any period of twelve months. More information about the registration and filing process in Kenya can be found here.

Generally, a VAT taxable person has to report the VAT due in a monthly VAT return.


Are there any income taxes I have to pay for experiences I host?

As a host, you may have to pay income taxes. We expect all Hosts to comply with the tax regulations in their area, and encourage you to speak to a tax professional if you need advice on income taxes. Please see here for further information on your income tax responsibilities.


What expenses can I deduct from my income taxes?

It's possible that not all of your earnings as a Host are taxable as income. You may be able to deduct expenses wholly and exclusively incurred in the generation of your income as an Experience Host in providing the Experience such as the cost of your supplies, amounts you paid to other service providers like restaurants or entertainment venues, insurance costs, and other expenses.

Where the guest is required under Kenyan laws to withhold any taxes on the fees payable to you with respect to the Experience Hosting services provided by you, such withholding tax may be set off against the income tax payable by you in that year of income.

We encourage you to speak to a tax advisor for more details, as there are many special rules in this area and we aren't able to provide tax advice.

*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).

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