Govt Cracks Down on Wealthy Kenyans After IMF Pressure

  • Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani departs the National Treasury on June 11, 2020 for the 2020/21 budget statement presentation
    Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani departs the National Treasury on June 11, 2020 for the 2020/21 budget statement presentation
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  • The Ministry of Treasury has announced plans to apply pressure on rich Kenyans as part of guarantee to recover International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan.

    According to a report by Business Daily on Monday, May 17, Treasury was preparing to institute travel bans and deregister the Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) of tax cheats.

    The report further indicated that Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) had earmarked a number of individuals who are said to owe the organisation as much as Ksh260 billion.

    Among individuals in the target bracket are doctors, real estate investors, and lawyers who are self-employed.

    KRA Boss James Githii Mburu gives an address during a past event
    KRA Boss James Githii Mburu speaks at a conference in 2019
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    In a letter from Treasury, business and property owners were also listed as the top target in KRA's new plan to raise revenue for the new financial year 2021/22.

    It is estimated that 50% of the money is expected to be channelled towards the development budget. 

    The crackdown, according to the publication, will get in full force in July 2021.

    The development comes after Kenyans expressed uproar against IMF for approving a Ksh257 billion loan facility for the country despite high corruption levels.

    The loan will be given in phases over three years and reviews will also be conducted to ensure compliance.

    As part of the guarantee to repay the loan in time, the  National Treasury committed to increase taxes and reduce its wage bill. The state also increased the taxes in order to receive the loan.

    The taxes that are to be increased by KRA included the implementation of post-clearance audits, comprehensive audit of all exemptions, enhanced scanning and intelligence-led verification of cargo at the ports of entry to meet its targets.

    "We are implementing a number of revenue enhancement measures as we continue to leverage on technology to enhance efficiency in revenue collection.

    "With enhanced operational efficiency, the Authority is optimistic that the landscape of revenue mobilisation and collection in this country will be completely changed,” read a statement from KRA.

    Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
    Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
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