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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,7TH OCT 2019-Acting Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury Amb. Ukur Yattani has urged citizens to be tax compliant to enable the country fund its development programmes.
The CS, who was speaking at the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) head office, Times Tower, during the launch of the 2019 Taxpayers’ Month, said the country depends on its diligent tax compliant citizens for sustainability of economic growth.
“It is true that any given country depends on its tax compliant citizens for sustainability of economic growth. For us to execute and achieve this mandate effectively, it is no doubt that we have to collaborate with our partners, the taxpayers,” said the CS.
The National Treasury acting CS also congratulated taxpayers for their commitment to pay taxes which he said has continued to grow every year. “we celebrate the selflessness and hard work of patriotic citizens who dutifully meet their tax obligations to propel Kenya’s economic prosperity,”
Citing various initiatives in automation and reforms of businesses processes, the CS lauded KRA for continuously collaborating with other states in various initiatives that have enabled efficiency. He gave the example of among others the One-Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) established at the Kenya borders and its neighbouring countries, Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS) and Integrated Customs Management System (iCMS).
“KRA has continued to champion the National Treasury’s role of mobilizing domestic and external resources for financing national and county government budgetary requirements. Therefore, KRA is a key stakeholder in the successful delivery of the government development initiatives including the Big Four Agenda,” the CS added.
He further noted that the Big Four Agenda lays out key initiatives that will put Kenya on a path of economic progression. Revenue mobilisation, he stated, sets a strong foundation for achieving the President’s Big Four Agenda.
KRA Board Chairman Amb. Francis Muthaura said that the revenue targets set are achievable with the collaboration by all stakeholders who comprise of taxpayers, National Treasury and KRA. “We will continually inform and educate taxpayers so that so that compliance levels increase.” Said Amb. Muthaura.
KRA Commissioner for Domestic Taxes Department Ms Elizabeth Meyo, speaking on behalf of the Commissioner General Mr. Githii Mburu, said that KRA has adopted various initiatives of fostering partnerships and relationships with key stakeholders.
“We have also reformed Customs operations to improve trade. Some of these reforms include implementation of the Single Window Concept, through a project known as the Community Based System (CBS). This is an ICT system, which integrates all trade facilitating agencies and business communities with KRA,” said Ms. Meyo.
She added that KRA has been collaborating with both national and international agencies in implementing frameworks and initiatives aimed at curbing all forms of economic crimes.
Acting Commissioner of Intelligence and Strategic Operations Dr. Saidimu Leseeto appealed to taxpayers to join KRA in its relentless fight against tax evasion in order to preserve the integrity of the tax system which is a vital national asset.
“Over the years, most taxpayers have perceived KRA as an adversary, a situation that extensively damaged existence of trust. However, KRA has over the years transformed and this has changed. Taxpayers have become more open and willing to work with us. Voluntary compliance has now become a choice and the way to go for many taxpayers,” said Dr Saidimu.
During the Taxpayers’ Month, KRA appreciates citizens for their valuable contribution in the economic development of the country through paying taxes. During the 2019 Taxpayers’ Month, KRA will engage in various activities which include; taxpayer appreciation visits, taxpayer education, a tax summit and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.
The event’s climax will also be marked by the Taxpayers’ Award Ceremony and Luncheon which will be presided over by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The luncheon will be hosted in honour of distinguished taxpayers and it is scheduled to take place later in the month.
The distinguished taxpayers will be recognized for exemplary tax compliance in the year 2018 and 2019.