Accountants call for the shelving of the 16 per cent fuel levy

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The Institute of Certified Public Accountants (ICPAK) has urged the government to source for alternate options of revenue collection if President Uhuru Kenyatta dismisses the 16 per cent VAT on petroleum products.

Speaking to a section of the press on Wednesday, ICPAK chairman Julius Mwatu urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to assent to the Finance amendment Bill 2018 which will subsequently lead to the dismissal of the petroleum tax.

The ICPAK chairman is reported to have said that the President should assent to the Finance Amendment Bill 2018 as this will ease the pressure on Kenyans and allow players an opportunity to explore other revenue raising mechanisms and fiscal accountability measures.

In addition, Mr Mwatu urged the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to be more efficient in revenue collection by modernizing the taxation regime.

Furthermore, the accountants divulged that the government should concentrate more on intensifying trade promotion via fairs for local and international products as well as offering marketing and financial assistance. This, according to the accountants, will lead to an increase in exports.

The accountants also called on the government to step up their resolve in the fight against corruption and unnecessary spending.

They said that severe actions should be taken to battle corruption and recover the tolls to fund the budget for development.

The 16 per cent tax on petroleum products took effect on September 1, 2018, almost five years after the bill was first presented before parliament as part of the VAT act of 2013.

Following implementation of the tax at the start of September, prices of diesel, petrol and kerosene escalated significantly.

The increase in the price of petroleum products consequently led to nationwide protests as the cost of manufacturing and production escalated and this did not augur well for low income earning Kenyans.

The tax is also expected to affect the price of wheat and maize flour further increasing the burden on average Kenyans.

The 16 per cent tax will only be dismissed if President Uhuru Kenyatta assents to the Finance Act 2018 that was passed by parliament a fortnight ago. However, the president has until Friday to assent to the bill.

If the president fails to do so, the 16 per cent VAT on petroleum products will stand.

 

 

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