Tax amnesty extended for wealthy Kenyans with cash stashed abroad


Tax amnesty extended for wealthy Kenyans with cash stashed abroad

The National Treasury has extended an amnesty for Kenyans with wealth abroad to mid 20118 as the government seeks to boost compliance.

With amnesty in place, wealthy Kenyans with cash stashed in foreign lands will required to file returns on their assets and repatriate the same back to Kenya,

The move is part of efforts by the treasury to boost revenue collection.

Previously the tax amnesty was to lapse at the end of December, but has now been extended to June 2018.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich announced the changes on Thursday, as it emerged that many were yet to comply even after the window was introduced in July last year.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) last month introduced guidelines on how the amnesty works even creating a window for those who illegally acquired wealth to return the same to Kenya.

This as the taxman said it would not question the source of funds should wealthy individuals comply with the tax amnesty.

Mr Rotich however pointed out that the there was need to further strengthen the guidelines.

“I have noted that there is need to clarify the circumstances under which the amnesty will be granted,” he said while delivery his 2017/2018 budget statement.

KRA was also directed to issue guidelines on the same and reach out to taxpayers to cash in on the amnesty and clean up their records with the authority.

The government estimates that there could be as much as Sh124 billion looted from Kenya in previous administrations.

Current guidelines from KRA however state that, persons with ongoing investigation over tax related crimes would not be granted amnesty.

Tax experts however say the guidelines remain rather vague especially given those with assets such as property, cars and machinery would be required to physically return the same.

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Story By Michael Karanja
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