The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has investigated and taken to court 171 individuals and entities involved in deliberate tax evasion this financial year, in efforts to combat the illegal menace in the country.
Justus Kiuvu, KRA’s Chief Manager for Dispute Management and Enforcement in the Investigations and Enforcement Department, said the taxman will recover up to $51.3 million from the accused parties should the court find them culpable of the economic crimes, and even attract additional penalties of up to 70 percent of the disputed amount, depending on the circumstances around the non-compliance.
“As enforcement, we’re not here just for the tax; we’re here to send a message and to safeguard the integrity of the Kenyan tax administration system,” Mr Kiuvu said.
His department investigates suspected cases of deliberate tax evasion activities.
Some 196 more taxpayers have been under the taxman’s scrutiny for deliberate non-compliance, with some resorting to solve the disputes out of court.
This year alone, KRA has recovered about $13.7 million from tax evaders in out-of-court tax dispute resolution, after its investigations uncovered deliberate attempts to evade tax by entities.
Although Mr Kiuvu did not disclose the names of the people and entities in court over tax disputes, he said they are large taxpayers as the department only deals with tax disputes above Ksh50 million ($428,175) or high degrees of deliberate evasion activity.
Dominic Kengara, KRA’s Chief Manager for Case Quality Management in the Investigations and Enforcement Department, said although the voluntarily compliant taxpayers have increased and make up the majority, the deliberate evaders must be brought to book to protect law-abiding citizens.
Individuals found responsible for tax fraud will have their tax compliance certificates revoked, barring them from running for office in the forthcoming elections, taking loans, or importing commodities until they comply, Mr Kiuvu said.