This year’s top honours for best taxpayers in corporate Kenya saw a list made up of completely new entrants as the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) sought to change the criteria it used to fete top taxpayers.
Popular names like Safaricom, East African Breweries Limited, EABL and the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC) were all missing from the list as the KRA moved into the system of awarding companies based on taxes paid in relation to revenue generated rather than on cumulative taxes paid as was the norm the past years.
In a colourful ceremony graced by President Kenyatta, Eastern Produce Kenya Ltd bagged the title of the best taxpayer of the year with CFC Stanbic, Oxford University Press, Better Globe Forestry and AutoExpress Ltd bagging the titles of best VAT yield, voluntary disclosure, best corporate tax, SME and best importer of the year.
Adelaide Changole, a reporter with Standard Group’s KTN, bagged the best tax journalist of the year award for what the taxman termed as her objective and comprehensive reporting on tax issues. Other winners included the National Construction Authority, Trademark East Africa and Laikipia County that won the trade facilitation partner, tax compliance and county of the year awards respectively.
Other winners included Urgent Cargo Handling, Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) and Huduma Kenya that won the partnership, capacity building partner and innovation partner of the year award respectively.
Speaking at the event, President Uhuru Kenyatta called on KRA to streamline the revenue collection system particularly for SMEs and multinationals in order to reduce the hurdles that facilitate non-compliance.
“We need to improve the country’s doing business ranking to below 50 in the next few years and we need to ensure that all those eligible to pay taxes do so,” he said.
“There is also a need to nurture a culture of discipline and transparency among KRA staff and I am directing the Treasury to work with KRA to do the staff vetting correctly and without victimisation of anybody.”