KEPSA co-hosted the 4th Tax Roundtable with Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) on 11th December 2018 at Radisson Blu Hotel, Nairobi. The forum was held to reciprocate KRA’s commitment to a continued improvement in the Ease of Paying Taxes Indicators under the Ease of Doing Business rankings with a target of ranking top 50.
KRA Commissioner General, John Njiraini, in his opening remarks noted that two years ago KRA came up with a structured framework to interact with its clients, hence leading to this 4th edition of the KEPSA-KRA Roundtable. “The purpose of the RoundTable,” he added, “is continuous dialogue with the business community and other key players to resolve challenges in the paying of taxes.” He went on to outline improvements which had been realized including installation of digital scanner systems at entry points, enhancement of iTax platform and of taxpayers on the appeal process.
KEPSA Chair, Mr. Nick Nesbitt, on his part was grateful for KRA’s consistency in holding such dialogues and noted that such platforms were necessary for the economic growth targets. Mr. Nesbitt exuded confidence that the continued Tax Round Table meetings presented an opportunity to strive to strike a balance between achieving Kenya’s targets and need to allow businesses to grow without the burden of heavy tax. He added that manufacturing sector remains a key pillar of the economy that requires direct government support and that issues to do with reconciliation of Withholding certificates and VAT Refunds should be addressed.
KRA has taken several key action points towards addressing four main areas of concern among taxpayers including Legal services, Customs, Domestic taxes, and Strategy, innovation and risk management. KRA had also established a dedicated SME help desk through an ongoing framework to ensure special access for services to the SMEs. The framework had been done specifically to support the implementation of the presumptive tax regime, due in January 2019.
The agency disclosed that VAT regulations on export services was under review and consideration and it had made a proposal for its clarification. The reviewed regulations were to be forwarded to the National Treasury in January 2019 for further public participation before publishing. 16% VAT on pesticides and agricultural line was also to be reviewed during the 2018/19 fiscal budget. The wider policy objective was to reduce the tax incentives to the extent possible and to limit zero rating to exports.
The forum was concluded with a call to have more engagements in future and continuous partnership between the agency and the private sector for a better country.