NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 22 – Kenya Revenue Authority now says it is not fighting any individual or business in the ongoing fight against tax evasion in the country.
In a statement, Commissioner General James Mburu says the ongoing crackdown is part of the Authority’s responsibility of collecting revenue, which has grown from Sh201 billion in the year 2002/03 to Sh1.58 trillion in the year 2018/19 representing a growth of over 680 percent.
“Kenyans should reject the narrative that KRA is fighting any individual or business. On the contrary, KRA has the additional responsibility of trade facilitation under which we support a business environment that is conducive for growth of business, which further results in increased taxes. All we desire is that all eligible taxpayers make every effort to pay their rightful share of taxes. We must all contribute in an equitable manner to the development of our Country,” Mburu said.
This comes at a time when notable businesspeople have been charged with tax evasion.
Earlier today, Keroche Breweries owners Joseph and Tabitha Karanja were arrested over Sh14.5 billion in tax fraud, following a directive by the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji.
The DPP made his decision after an audit conducted by the KRA established that the Keroche Breweries Limited had evaded the payment of tax totaling 14.4 billion shillings.
Haji said the inquiry related to the allegation of tax fraud on various products manufactured and sold by the Naivasha based brewer between January 2015 and June 209 which products attract Excise Duty and Value Added Tax.
Yesterday, billionaire Humphrey Kariuki defended himself, two days after he faced tax evasion charges amounting to Sh41 billion.
The businessman said he is a victim of envious individuals, unsettled by his vast business empire, which is across the world.
He claims the said people, who are not mentioned in his statement, are up to destroy his reputation and business through the implication of offences, he says he is not aware of.
The tycoon’s troubles started early this year, after detectives raided his Africa Limited Spirits firm in Thika, where other than millions of fake excise stamps, they recovered tonnes of undeclared ethanol.
In self defence, Kariuki who claims he does not directly run the management of the firm, refuted owing the taxman a penny, while dismissing the charges as false and in bad faith.
Kariuki who calls himself a true Kenyan patriot owing to the massive investment across the country was released on a Sh11 million cash bail after he denied all the charges.