The Kenya Revenue Authority’s penchant for targeting easy sectors in its hunt for tax revenue runs the risk of backfiring in the long run.
This time, the taxman has set sights on more earnings from the increasingly popular digital cash platforms, members of professional associations, gamblers and service-oriented businesses.
Whereas the authority has all the right to look for money in the race to meet its targets, it needs to refrain from overburdening the already overtaxed citizens by seeking new frontiers.
There is already a 15 percent levy on mobile airtime as well as cash transfers. Going for the same cadre risks reversing gains made by the country in going cashless, which ultimately means that hard-pressed Kenyans will opt to transact less or revert to traditional and inefficient modes of payments.
The imbroglio of taxes on gambling should also have provided ample lessons for KRA and highlighted the need for it to go easy on what it considers low-hanging fruits from the sub-sector that is already complaining of being overburdened with tax demands.
It is time KRA goes for the hard to tax segments, which largely remain outside the tax bracket.