Kenyan leader urges tax agency to curb revenue loss

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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta /CFP Image
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta /CFP Image.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday directed Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to collaborate with other agencies within the multi-agency framework to fight illicit trade and ensure no loss of revenue through tax evasion.

The president emphasized that paying taxes enables Kenyans to take ownership of the country’s governance and actualization of shared development aspirations.

“I must emphasize that to achieve the better Kenya we desire, we must all be ready and willing to reciprocate by paying our tax dues and on time,” Kenyatta said in Nairobi when he presided over the 2021 National Taxpayers’ Day.

He expressed satisfaction that during his term in office ordinary revenue has more than doubled, rising from 707 billion shillings (about 6.4 billion U.S. dollars) in the 2011/12 financial year to 15 billion dollars in the 2020/21 period.

Kenyatta urged taxpayers to promptly pay their rightful share of tax, file returns diligently and shun evasive tactics which undermine the country’s ability to fund its development.

“Each eligible taxpayer must realize that paying their fair share of taxes is not only an obligation but it is a demonstration of patriotism,” he added.

He also encouraged all those who owe taxes from previous periods to demonstrate their patriotism by honoring their obligation.

“I urge you to take advantage of the ongoing Voluntary Tax Disclosure Program and benefit from the full waiver of interest and penalties,” Kenyatta said.

He observed that improved revenue collection through tax simplification, technology-driven compliance and tax base expansion is an integral part of the strategy for building back better.

“Towards this end, the government will spare no effort in facilitating tax reforms geared at mobilizing revenues for inclusive national development,” Kenyatta said.

Ukur Yatani, cabinet secretary of National Treasury, said the country has witnessed positive signs of economic recovery beginning with improved revenue performance for the last four years.

Yatani added that the national treasury will sustain the positive trajectory of increasing tax collections in order to enable the government to meet its development priorities.

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