KRA cracks down on Sh15bn VAT fraud suspect  


KRA cracks down on Sh15bn VAT fraud suspect  

A businessman has been charged at the Nairobi Makadara chief magistrates court for tax evasion amounting Sh15 billion over a three year period.

Keval Kumar Navin Maisura appeared before chief magistrate Heston Nyaga at Makadara courts following accusations that he knowingly and deliberately omitted from his income tax returns for three years.

Mr Maisura in a second and third count is accused with another not before court of evading tax of Sh4.6 billion and Sh2.4 billion.

It was not immediately clear which business line the accused operates.

According to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Mr Maisura had registered a number of businesses which he used to evade paying taxes.

Mr Maisura was further charged with failing to pay Sh2.4billion income tax.

The court heard the accused being chargeable to tax, without reasonable cause, failed to submit to the commissioner, value added tax (VAT) returns for the periods of January to December 2015 by the due date as required by VAT Act.

Mr Maisura also failed to submit a value added tax return by due date of periods of January 2016 to December 2017.

Through lawyer Kibiru Njenga the accused has told court that he is willing to engage with KRA and settle the tax debt.

The accused was released on a cash bail of Sh5 million or a bond of Sh15 million with a surety of a similar amount.

The magistrate however asked Mr Maisura  to deposit his passport in court as he was a flight risk .

KRA has been under pressure to raise collection after missing its targets in the current financial year.

The taxman has been particularly keen in sealing revenue leakage holes after the National Treasury issued a directive to boost collections.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich in March issued a warning over KRA lapses adding the ministry would take action on KRA officials.

“I will personally be visiting collection points to ensure that whoever isn’t working to deliver that will definitely face the wrath of treasury,” Mr Rotich said on March 18.

KRA said the case is part of an elaborate tax fraud scheme it has been investigating for over one year.

The VAT fraud scheme is said to involve some traders who have been claiming fraudulent purchases thereby evading payments of billions of shillings in taxes.

“A group of individuals who register several business names for fictitious invoicing perpetuates the scheme similar to the “missing trader” scheme in India and Europe,” KRA said in a statement.

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