President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked KRA to conduct an audit on individuals who appear to live flashy lifestyles but are paying little or no tax.
“High net individuals whose lifestyles are not reflective of the taxes that they pay, if any, must be compelled to demonstrate their sources of wealth and to contribute their share of taxes accordingly,” Uhuru said on Wednesday.
The President said the authority must ensure that the law reflects the seriousness of tax collection and the consequences of evasion.
He said the tax regime must support the government’s Big Four aspirations “which are aligned to mobilise local and foreign investment while leveraging the opportunities therein.”
“Therefore, there must be no room for tax evaders to thrive in Kenya,” Uhuru said.
The President made the remarks at KICC during the launch of the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS) and The Integrated Scanner Command Centre.
“As my government advocates for integrity in all aspects, these people must be made to contribute their share of tax accordingly,” he said.
He said the move follows concerns that Kenya’s GDP has outstripped the tax pace.
“The situation has seen few Kenyans carry the burden of many by paying more taxes,” he said.
Uhuru added: “This is the reason we have taken steps to widen tax pace by seeking to implement more taxation and bring more Kenyans in the tax net.”
However, he said the measures are still far enough from sustaining the country’s national development aspirations.
Uhuru said there is a great need for the Treasury to review tax policies, simply compliance and encourage self-declaration to allow Kenyans to pay taxes.
“KRA must, therefore, leverage benefits National Integrated Management Systems and forge a working relationship with county governments to enhance the collection,” he said.
The President further warned KRA managers against aiding tax evasion saying those found culpable will suffer serious consequences.
He asked the taxman to enhance accountability among those handling taxpayers money by rooting for integrity in the agency’s operations.
“You must also ensure high integrity levels by not abusing the responsibility on you through acts of extortion and complicity with tax evaders,” Uhuru said.
He further directed the authority to hunt down all the criminal cartels smuggling taxable goods into the country.
The Head of State further asked KRA to ensure all the fake electronic registers used by the cartels to evade tax payment are wiped out.