Kenya's private sector condemns misuse of public money

Kenya Private Sector Alliance Chair Nick Nesbitt and KRA Commissioner General Gethii Mburu
Private sector has renewed calls for action against tax evaders to promote level playing field among businesses.

At a Thursday meeting, the body said it is regrettable that some persons have invested heavily in unsuring that they do not pay taxes making it hard for other businesses paying taxes to compete with them.

“This is an unfair trade practice which requires decisive action by KRA to guarantee market competitiveness and a level playing field,” reads a letter signed by Kepsa chair Nick Nesbitt and KRA commissioner general Githii Mburu.

In 11 point resolution, Kepsa condemned misuse of public money collected as tax obligations from Kenyan taxpayer through corruption, called on the government and relevant tax policy formulators to rethink tax regime for small and medium enterprises.

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The joint Kepsa and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) tax round table forum brought together business leaders and stakeholders’ drawn from the private sector to deliberate on the prevailing tax policy and related concerns.

The forum also provided a platform for KRA to update KEPSA members on developments relating to tax compliance and policy matters.

Some of the areas covered included how to increase revenue collection and expand the tax base without overburdening the current tax payers, enhancing regional and cross border trade competitiveness, creating changes within the current tax regimes  and establishing partnerships in improving compliance.

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Taking note of the Kepsa Chairman Nick Nesbit presentation, the roundtable called for adoption  of a win-win approach to tax enforcement based on taxpayers’ collaboration rather than coercion as such a model will promote tax payment and strengthen KRA’s capacity to meet its targets.

The forum appreciated that KRA-notwithstanding the limited National Treasury funding of Sh1.2b monthly against monthly refunds applications of Sh2.36 billion has made progress on the VAT refunds issue and has already paid out Sh14.2 billion paid in financial year 2018/19 and a further Sh 6.2billion was paid between July and October 2019.

KRA has also established a Project team to facilitate the clearance of 6,000 VAT refund cases worth Sh27.6 billion outstanding as at 31.10.2019, possibly by April next year.

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