Tax breaks should apply to all, not to individuals

In Summary

• MPs have ordered the KRA to give them a list of all tax waivers issued in the last two years.

•  The government has been accused of targeting certain individuals in its crackdown on tax waivers

MPs on the Parliamentary Finance committee have given the Kenya Revenue Authority seven days to provide a list of all tax waivers granted in the last two years.

The government is trying to boost tax revenue but there have been complaints that certain recipients are being unfairly targeted.

Tax waivers are sometimes necessary in the national interest. For instance, the government may decide to forgo VAT on certain foodstuffs.

However the tax waiver should be across the board and not for particular individuals. As it stands, well-connected persons benefit excessively.

The present government is also to blame. It has just issued duty-free maize import licences to certain companies to reduce the cost of unga during the drought. But it would be much better to have a permanent lower import duty on maize that still protects the Kenyan farmer but is not subject to abuse by those in the know.

Similarly, are tenants of Special Economic Zones exporting 80 percent of their production to justify their tax breaks?

There are many loopholes in the tax system. Let's clear them all up but have general tax regulations applicable to all.

Quote of the day: "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."

Albert Einstein
The German-Swiss physicist was born on March 14, 1879

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