10 lobby groups have raised concerns over President William Ruto’s unpredictable taxation policies and issued four proposals that the government can explore as an alternative instead of squeezing every last penny from Kenyan taxpayers.
In a statement, the groups led by the Kenya Human Rights Commission and Transparency International-Kenya called for the adoption of a national tax policy that will guide the steps the government ought to take before introducing new taxes.
The groups noted that a tax policy will ensure that taxes are more predictable and cushion Kenyans from more levies that have led to an increase in the prices of basic commodities.
An aerial photo showing motorists lining up for fuel at a fuel Station in Kileleshwa on Saturday, April 2, 2022.
On the other hand, the groups added that the government needs to look for avenues to address tax evasion which they said is rampant among affluent Kenyans.
“This can be achieved by enacting appropriate legislation regarding cross-border transactions and financial transparency. It is estimated that the government has been losing an average of Ksh40 billion annually due to illicit financial flows since 2011,” read the statement in part.
The lobby groups also called on the government to implement electronic tax billing in a bid to raise more revenue.
It was explained that the electronic system has helped countries such as Rwanda increase their revenue collection which will eventually reduce the need to impose more taxes on Kenyans.
Regarding the use of collected taxes, the groups called on Ruto to combat corruption and clamp down on wastage.
Ruto was also urged to streamline tax collection to avert instances of double taxation.
“Kenyans are facing the issue of double taxation due to recent changes in tax regulations. Starting from July 1, this government began imposing taxes on professional club entrance and subscription fees, which an employer pays on behalf of its employees. Fees are deducted when calculating taxable income.
“It has resulted in a situation where the employer and the employee are burdened with the tax, leading to double taxation,” read the statement in part.
A photo of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Offices at Integrity Centre in Nairobi taken on November 18, 2019.