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Economy

KRA ranks Safaricom top taxpayer for seventh year

Airtel Kenya managing director Adil El Youssefi (left) with Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore during the Tax Payers Week awards in Nairobi on Oct 21, 2014. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA
Airtel Kenya managing director Adil El Youssefi (left) with Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore during the Tax Payers Week awards in Nairobi on Oct 21, 2014. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA 

Safaricom has for the seventh consecutive year been ranked as Kenya’s largest taxpayer, highlighting the strategic importance of the telco to the economy.

The Teachers Service Commission – the employer of all public school teachers – beat the East African Breweries Limited (EABL) to be ranked second.

The Ministry of Interior and National Coordination – which comprises the police and county administrators was placed third ahead of KCB Group.

“We celebrate the patriotism of our taxpayers whose hard-earned shillings finance our country’s transformation and development,” said President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday when he presided over this year’s Taxpayers Week awards in Nairobi.

“I also extend my recognition to the National Treasury and KRA for their prudent management of these funds.”

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He said the tax collected was funding infrastructure development, free primary and secondary education as well as free maternity in public health facilities.

EABL, which was position two last year, dropped to fifth while Equity Bank stayed put at sixth.

Standard Chartered Bank of Kenya moved up one slot to seventh, Barclays dropped one step to eighth while Kenya Pipeline Company and the Ministry of Health debuted in the top 10 list for the first time.

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) commissioner-general John Njiraini said the best-performing taxpayers were recognised not for only contributing the highest revenue, but also following the required tax regulations.

The taxman collected a total of Sh963.8 billion in the fiscal year ended June, a growth of 20.4 per cent compared to the Sh800.4 billion collected the previous year.

Mr Kenyatta has put KRA on notice that tax collection in the current year should hit Sh1.1 trillion, a 14 per cent growth target from last year’s collections.

The new target sets taxpayers up for fresh battles with a more aggressive taxman, especially targeting rental income and capital gains.

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