Economy

KRA moves its domestic tax unit to Sameer complex

Sameer

A section of Sameer Business Park. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has relocated its domestic taxes enforcement unit from the taxman’s headquarters at the Times Towers to Sameer Business Park along Mombasa Road.

This comes amid aggressive recruiting from the tax authority, a move targeted at catching tax evaders and cheats to raise more revenue.

“Attention all taxpayers! The domestic taxes enforcement division has relocated to Sameer Business Park along Mombasa Road,” said KRA in a notice.

The domestic taxes enforcement unit is responsible for assessing, collecting and accounting for all revenues.

KRA had planned to recruit over 6,400 officers in three years in pursuit of more remittances from high-net-worth individuals and landlords.

The agency’s strategic plan running between July 2021 and June 2024 shows this is an attempt to increase its workforce to approved staffing levels of 14,555 from the 7,955 employees in 2021. Last year, the domestic taxes division performance recorded growth compared to a similar period the previous year.

According to an earlier statement from KRA, the domestic taxes collected Sh1.297 trillion in the year ended June 2022 against a target of Sh1.267 trillion. This translated to a performance rate of 102.4 percent with a surplus collection of Sh30.445 billion.

Pay as you earn (PAYE) was the largest contributor to domestic taxes at Sh461.8 billion followed by domestic value-added tax (VAT) at Sh244.6 billion, corporation tax at Sh242 billion and excise at Sh66.5 billion.

The agency has been recruiting senior managers and officers after firing 75 employees in 2019 for facilitating tax evasion.

Sixty-one of those fired and arrested were from the domestic taxes department and 14 from customs and border control. Some are fighting cases in court.

The offences cited were tax-related misconduct such as theft, cheating in the declaration of returns, corruption, collusion and soliciting bribes from tax cheats for sending home the staff.

In October last year, KRA announced a new data collection exercise expected to run through July 30, 2023, targeting landlords in Nairobi as part of its tax base expansion program.

The exercise is expected to enforce tax payments by landlords or property owners improving on KRA’s tax nettings from income tax.

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