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KRA Probe Banda Homes, Greenspan, Superior Homes Kenya, Nexgen Office Suites, Muga Developers and Chigwell For Sh20B Tax Evasion



Times Tower. PHOTO | NMG

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has initiated a probe on over 30 real estate companies in an effort to recover up to Ksh20 billion. The taxman is reviewing bank records, tax returns and other transaction details of the firms among them Banda Homes, Greenspan, Superior Homes Kenya and Nexgen Office Suites, Muga Developers and Chigwell.

Speaking about the same, Mr Edward Mbugua, a deputy commissioner in the domestic taxes department said KRA officials are working hard to have all money in tax not remitted recovered. Concerns of the real estate firms evading paying tax was raised by the Lands ministry, which processes all transfers of land and buildings.

“There is non-payment of taxes on development of huge real estate projects where the government is denied three percent withholding tax on contracts by the contractors and other real estate professionals. Most contracts also fail to declare income earned from real estate development in the annual tax return,” Mr Mbugua said.

KRA has said it is now looking to hold individual directors accountable to facilitate the collection of taxes on all gains made in constructing and selling of homes and commercial buildings that are currently being lost in fraudulent schemes. “We have unearthed elaborate schemes involving the formation of separate companies to develop homes and use of different ones to sell the same as a means of erasing the traceability of earnings from the business,”he added.

The taxman is racing to bring more people into the tax brackets and curb tax cheats and evasion in the quest to meet revenue targets that it has persistently missed in recent years.

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Mr Mbugua said Kenya Power meter registrations are helping the taxman to identify landlords not remitting tax, some of who have been slapped with huge tax demands. Landlords are said to be reducing the number of units or declaring occupied houses as vacant so as to avoid paying tax.

The authority recently hired a team of auctioneers to help it track properties of individuals and companies who have failed to pay the tax due. The taxman plans to auction the properties to help clear mounting tax arrears.

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