Yes you can pay tax, ICPAK tells MPs

December 5, 2008

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 3 – Members of Parliament could still pay taxes on their allowances under the current law, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants (ICPAK) of Kenya said on Wednesday.

ICPAK Chairman Steve Lugalia said Parliamentarians who are keen on paying their taxes could do this by filing returns of their income.

“The Income Tax laws make it very clear that any income that you earn is taxable, whether it is in terms of basic salary, mileage, (or) entertainment allowance,” Mr Lugalia said.

“The law does not stop you from paying tax if you willingly want to do so.”

Mr Lugalia noted that given that revenue generated from taxes is used to finance projects that benefit the country and its citizens in general, it is imperative that all citizens participate in the payment of taxes

“The principle of equity which is enshrined in the country’s constitution in Section 82 sub-section one provides that no law shall make any provision that is either discriminatory in  itself or in its effect. (It further) states that no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by a person acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of functions of a public office or a public authority,” Mr Lugalia emphasised.

He said the refusal to pay taxes by Members of Parliament violates the principle of equity and selective taxation cannot, adding that Parliament was losing the moral authority to question government expenditure.

However while commending the initiative by Parliamentary Service Commission to relook the issue, the accountant’s body urged the President not to assent to the Fiancé Bill.

The body also wants immediate action on the amendment of Section five of the National Assembly Remuneration Act that exempted the taxation of MP’s and constitutional office holders’ allowances.

“We would expect to see the Members of Parliament who have publicly stated that they support taxation of their allowance to be in the forefront of convincing their colleagues to listen to the voice of the people,” Mr Lugalia stated.

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