Tea firm bags best taxpayer prize in new award system

Tea grower Eastern Produce Kenya was Wednesday named the overall winner of the 2015 Taxpayers Awards hosted by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

Eastern Produce was also ranked as the company with the best corporation tax yield for large firms — a measure of income tax paid for every shilling earned.

The ranking by the KRA is a departure from past years when the award was based on the total amount of tax paid.

The awards ceremony, attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta, was held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi.

The previous award system placed corporate heavyweights like Safaricom and EABL and the Teachers Service Commission at the top.

Eastern Produce operates five tea factories and seven estates and manages two client factories with three large associated estates in the Nandi Hills region.

It also takes in green leaf from 7,500 smallholders.

Eastern Produce Kenya is part of a larger company —Eastern Produce — that also operates Malawi and South Africa.

CfC Stanbic bagged the award for best value added tax (VAT) yield. The company recorded the highest VAT paid for every shilling of turnover.

“The achievement is commendable given that the financial services sector is not a major generator of VAT with the bulk of services being tax exempt,” the KRA said in a statement.

Basco Products received an award for the best growth of corporation tax compared to the previous year.

The best corporation tax yield company in the small and medium enterprise category was Better Globe Forestry Ltd.

Laikipia bagged the County of the Year Award while Oxford University Press received an award for voluntary disclosure.

Urgent Cargo Handling Ltd was recognised as the customs partner; National Construction Authority in real estate; Japan International Cooperation Agency in capacity building and TradeMark East Africa in trade facilitation.

Huduma Kenya received the innovation award while KTN’s Adelaide Changole received the award for tax journalist of the year.