President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday directed the Kenya Revenue Authority to intensify its efforts on revenue collection so as to deter tax evasion in the country.
Speaking during the launch of the Kenya Revenue Authority Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS) and the Integrated Scanner Command Centre (ISCC), President Kenyatta reiterated that the government would not tolerate tax defaulters.
“The law must reflect the seriousness of tax collection and the consequences of default, there should be no room for tax evaders to thrive in Kenya, criminal cartels like those smuggling imported taxable goods through our ports of entry ought to be easily detected and contained in the shortest time possible,” noted the President.
In addition, the President instructed the tax collector to focus its attention on high end individuals whose lifestyles are not reflective of the taxes they pay to the government.
“High end individuals must demonstrate their source of wealth. They have to contribute to their share of taxes as is required by law,” President Kenyatta explained.
Consequently, the President ordered swiftness in the ongoing lifestyle audit of top KRA officials to ensure that they are not abusing their positions in office.
“We continue to place heavy duty on tax payers to comply with the law, however there is an equal expectation that those charged with the duty of tax collection do not use their positions of influence to engage in extortion or acts of complicity with tax evaders,” said the President.
The President also ordered KRA to integrate technology in the entirety of its operations since ICT literacy levels across the country are on the rise.
KRA board Chairman Amb. Francis Muthaura, who was also in attendance, revealed that proper tax collection was key in realizing President Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda.
“KRA intends to contribute effectively towards the successful implementation of the Big Four Agenda through various tax initiatives and effective revenue collection,” said Muthaura.
The launch of the command center is part of the tax collector’s reform agenda as the authority positions itself to ensure smooth implementation of the Big Four Agenda by sealing revenue leakages.
On the other hand, the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS) was first introduced in Kenya in 2017, and is used to track transit cargo in real time across Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. It has been in operation for the last seven months, and has so far been used to track over 20,700 cargo containers.