KRA, governors’ plan to seal tax loopholes

August 16, 2013
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KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini said the authority will collaborate with the county governors by mainly focusing on sealing all tax loopholes in the country/FILE
KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini said the authority will collaborate with the county governors by mainly focusing on sealing all tax loopholes in the country/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 16 – The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) says it will in three months time come up with a new framework aimed at increasing revenue collection in the counties.

KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini said the authority will collaborate with the county governors by mainly focusing on sealing all tax loopholes in the country.

Speaking during a half-day workshop with governors in Nairobi on Friday, Njiraini said KRA had organized several meetings with the governors in the next few weeks to look at ways of coming up with a substantive framework.

Another key initiative under the framework will be on the county leaders coming up with programmes that educate Kenyans on changing their negative attitudes towards paying taxes.

“We are looking at a win-win situation whereby we will bring our strengths, and the counties do the same then the plan that we will come up with will benefit everyone,” Njiraini said during the workshop.

“We are the national expertise in tax collection but the county leaders themselves have the grassroots presence. They are the ones who know every business at the county level. They have more people than we have in the grassroots. So we are seeking to bring together these two strengths,” he added.

Njiraini said the authority will also come up with systems that ensures the revenue collected in the counties from various key sectors do not end up in individuals’ pockets.

“The challenge facing the county governments is that of concurrently handling both policy formulation and collection administration, both of which are demanding and complex. There is need therefore for you governors to discuss how to develop effective policy formulation structures preferably anchored at a national rather than the county level,” Njiraini explained.

On his part, Wajir County Governor Ahmed Abdullahi said most of the governors were positive about the engagement with KRA adding that increase in revenue collection would translate to more funds allocated to developing the counties.

“We would like to partner with KRA and the national security apparatus to have border points opened, encourage business people to bring in goods and all tax collected. This way, KRA will earn what is due to it,” Abdullahi, who is also the Governors Council’s Head of Economic and Finance Affairs said.

In respect to tracking and bringing to account those who do not comply with tax regulations, Njiraini said this will require investing in detention and enforcement processes that work.

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