Accountants call for tax concessions as pandemic ravages markets

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 00:00 | By
Italy medics attending to patients.

Lewis Njoka @LewisNjoka

Accountants are calling on the government to give short-term tax concessions to businesses to cushion them and the general public from the effects of Covid-19 pandemic.

The proposal by the accountants follows another issued by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers recently on how to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on businesses and the economy as a whole.

Institute of Certified Public Accountants (Icpak) said the concessions will help businesses affected by the pandemic maintain reasonable cash-flow and remain afloat, preventing job losses.

In a move that is likely to elicit a lot of debate within the accounting and auditing circles, Icpak proposes that the date of filing tax returns together with audited accounts be extended for three months from June 30, 2020 to September 30 2020, subject to containment of the pandemic.

Limited number

“Due to quarantine measures, there will be a very limited number of employees to facilitate completion of the returns and audits,” says the ICPAK report.  

“In instances where employees must take unpaid leave and therefore, bear living costs without income, consideration should be given to waive off 50 per cent of pay as you earn tax due (PAYE). 

This will provide more disposable income to employees and cushion them from the impact of the pandemic,” it adds.

The report further recommends that PAYE be due and payable on actual salaries paid and not on accrued salaries.

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