KRA softens stance on tax compliance, pledges to boost service delivery

Wednesday, October 5th, 2022 08:00 | By
KRA Commissioner General Githii Mburu. PHOTO/People Daily/Library

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Commissioner General Githi Mburu (pictured) appeared to soften his stance following the recent criticism by President William Ruto, saying that the agency will now adopt alternative measures for those struggling to pay tax.

He said the taxman is fully in agreement with the new administration that taxes must be collected and everyone must pay what they owe.

“For those taxpayers experiencing difficulty we will have to adopt a different approach. Some are going through genuine difficulties,” Mburu said.

This is a strong departure from the past when the agency has been accused of harassing companies and individuals that have been unable to pay taxes on time.

Facilitate taxpayers

Mburu  who spoke during the launch of 2022 Taxpayers’ Month launch, said that the Authority will be more agile and facilitate taxpayers to meet their obligation.

The remarks comes after the President’s comments when he addressed the Parliament last week in a speech that criticised the tax agency for being too strong handed in tax collections. “We will also work with the Kenya Revenue Authority on a culture change to make it a people-friendly, customer-centric organisation. I am of the view that we should rename it the Kenya Revenue Service in line with the proposed transformation,” Ruto said.

He emphasised his government’s commitment to ensuring that the country’s tax system is responsive to the needs of the economy.  President Ruto said the taxing structure should be equitable, efficient, and customer friendly, arguing that the current “tax regime currently falls far short of this.”

The taxman has been on the spot over sporadic arrests and shutting down of companies that fail to pay their taxes leading to an outcry. A case in point is that KRA in August appealed a high Court ruling to reopen the Keroche Breweries Ltd. in Naivasha in a continuation of a long-running war.

The taxman claims that Justice Alfred Mabeya’s finding violates prior court orders and their agreements on the payment of taxes totaling billions of shillings.

Justice Mabeya previously instructed the KRA to unseal Keroche’s packaging line, stores, and reactivate the Exercisable Goods Management System to enable the firm to restart operations.

Keroche’s chief executive Tabitha Karanja decided to run for Senator joining the Kenya Kwanza government to seek refuge from the government.                            

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