The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), the voice of the country’s private sector, and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the nation’s taxation body, have formulated a plan to tackle fraud and tax evasion in the East African nation.
The two organisations jointly hosted the 5th KEPSA-KRA Tax Round Table forum in the capital city of Nairobi this November.
The conference brought together business leaders and stakeholders’ drawn from the private sector to deliberate on the prevailing tax policy and related concerns. The 5th KEPSA-KRA Tax Round Table forum also provided a platform for KRA to update KEPSA members on developments relating to tax compliance and policy matters.
Specifically, the roundtable forum explored collaborative approaches on how to: Increase revenue collection and expand the tax base without overburdening the current tax payers; as well as enhance regional and cross-border trade competitiveness juxtaposed against emerging opportunities offered by ACFTA and newly negotiated instruments/ agreements within other bilateral and multilateral bodies such as EAC, ECOWAS and COMESA.
The forum also explored ways to create changes within the current tax regimes and structures to accommodate and support Small and Micro Enterprises development and growth; and establish partnerships in improving compliance.
Taking note of the statements and presentations made by KEPSA Chairperson Mr Nicholas Nesbitt, KRA representatives led by Commissioner General Mr Githii Mburu, ICPAK representative, CPA Ednah Gitachu and KEPSA Public Finance Sector Board Chair, Dr. Habil Olaka, the 5th KEPSA-KRA Tax Round Table acknowledged that the private sector is desirous to have a tax regime that is coherent with the national productivity agenda as a developing country.
“The private sector supports efforts to broaden the tax base and the integration of technological applications to facilitate tax compliance including the use of AI and block chain solutions,” the organisations said in a statement.
They called on the Government and the relevant tax policy formulators to rethink Kenya’s tax regime for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) “who are currently constrained and opting to evade tax obligations due to the high cost of compliance.”
The also called for the adoption of a win-win approach to tax enforcement based on taxpayers’ collaboration rather than coercion as such a model will promote tax payment and strengthen KRA’s capacity to meet its targets.