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KPL to enforce KRA compliance

JACK-OGUDANAIROBI, Kenya, January 22- Kenyan Premier League (KPL) CEO, Jack Oguda, will ensure all top-flight clubs submit their annual returns to enable footballers playing in the competition comply to the Kenya Revenue Authority directive requiring local sportspersons to remit tax.

This comes after KRA announced on Tuesday the country’s sportspersons should file returns annually like all other citizens.

According to the KPL boss, they will ensure all 16 top-flight clubs submit audited accounts at the end of every year so that they conform to the new law by June when returns are filed with the taxman.

“According to KRA rules, employers are authorized to tax their employees, so clubs specifically also have to tax their players and send to KRA,” Oguda said.

He however, revealed they had been caught unawares by the new requirements and they would need time to set out modalities to comply unlike their counterparts in athletics (see separate story) who are ready to implement the measures.

“What we are planning to engage KRA and get more light into it because we had an issue where some clubs have not been taxing their players.

“Its something new and we will meet with relevant authorities to arrive to a conclusion,” Oguda who confirmed they have received complains from a couple of clubs slapped with penalties for non-compliance, told Capital Sport on Wednesday.

Mathare United chairman, Bob Munro, called on clubs to be given a transitional period of at least one year to meet the requirements, a request that is unlikely to be met since the Commissioner for Domestic Taxes at KRA is already implementing the tax laws.

“As part of being professional it’s a plus and we will have a Governing Council meeting with KPL soon to discuss the issue.

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“Up until recently, clubs and players were not paid the kind of money that one can tax, but now they are making a lot of money, for example Gor and AFC Leopards get a lot of revenue through gate collection and that means the players are paid well. That is the reason why we have to be tax compliant,” Munro underscored.

“The tax will be 20-30 percent of the salary, so we need to get more money into the league and the clubs so that we pay the tax but players don’t feel the deficit in their pockets,” the Mathare chief added.

KRA said in a statement that income accrued by sportsperson in or outside the country is taxable.

This includes what is paid to athletes in terms of prizes, rewards, fee, among other payments.

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