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KRA To Use Sh2B To Nab Wealthy Tax Evaders In A New Scheme

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Times Towers PHOTO|COURTESY

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is set to get an additional Sh2 billion after Parliament’s Budget and Appropriations Committee on Tuesday directed  the Treasury to provide the cash to enable the taxman hire more employees. KRA will hire 1,000 intelligence and enforcement officers whose task will be to identify and arrest wealthy high-networth individuals who engage in tax cheats.

“Increase Sh2 billion to the Kenya Revenue Authority budget for recruitment of an additional 1,000 officers countrywide in order to generate an additional Sh50 billion in revenue in support of the achievement of this year’s revenue targets,” said the National Assembly committee.

Most of the additional staff will be investigating rich people’s sources of income and their expenditure against their tax remittances, while some will work on intelligence reports to seek recovery of unpaid taxes. The rest of the staff has been given a target of raising Sh50 billion in the period ending June next year.

The additional KRA staff will also be expected to step up the analysis of companies’ financial dealings, especially firms doing business with the national government and counties, to discover tax cheats by verifying their payments and income declared to the taxman.

The national assembly budget committee wants KRA to focus on tax cheats to cut the revenue shortfalls. The committee says the government’s revenue collection performance for the 2019-20 financial year, which ends in June, may fall short by about Sh120 billion to stand at Sh1.7 trillion. MPs’ directive to Treasury comes weeks after KRA told Parliament that the surveillance of the rich and companies had revealed that about Sh250 billion was owed to the taxman.

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KRA’s total workforce  stands at 8,000 currently, once the rest 1000 are hired, they are expected to collect at least a fifth of the unremitted billions by June 2020.


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