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KRA Now Targeting Small Scale Importers

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Importers of consolidated goods are next on the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) hitlist as the taxman has proposed new rules to increase tax collection.

It is now mandatory for any consolidator to be registered in Kenya, have a physical store or office where he or she operates from and be tax compliant, a multi-agency team of Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards and Kenya Ports Authority has said.

The move is allegedly aimed at addressing complaints by importers who have been using brokers based in foreign countries that they know nothing about. KRA says it will upload a list of all registered consolidators and the countries they operate from. “This is aimed at addressing complaints by some small scale importers who do not know who they are dealing with when it comes to tax issues,” Commissioner General Githii Mburu has said.

The rules also come at a time when a presidential directive was given in May asking agencies to come up with a formula to address the small scale importers concerns.

The taxman had been holding their goods over tax issues, causing them huge losses. At the time, 702 containers belonging to the traders were being held at container depots over tax issues. The importers then met President Uhuru Kenyatta who ordered for a quick resolve.

Since then, KRA says it has cleared more than 500 containers and released them to the owners.

Most small scale traders import their goods through consolidation using agencies to collect and consolidate their goods before they are shipped to Kenya which is cheaper than individual shipping. This has proved difficult for the taxman to impose taxes on the goods as they belong to different people. The new rules are being set to address this.

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