• To curb abuse of the policy, the applicant must be vetted by a certified medical doctor.
• Some people living with disabilities are not aware of the Act.
Introduction of a tax exemption policy for persons with disabilities in the Income Tax Act in 2010 was a commendable move for the empowerment of our brothers and sisters abled differently.
According to the Act, persons with disabilities are granted a tax exemption for the first Sh150,000 of their gross income. Essentially, if the gross income is below Sh150,000, the person does not pay any taxes to the government. In a case where the income is above Sh150,000, the taxman only takes what is above the threshold.
The exemption can, however, only be granted to a disabled taxpayer who has a valid tax exemption certificate. The Kenya Revenue Authority website outlines the various conditions that a person abled differently needs to fulfil before the taxman can issue a tax exemption.
Key among the conditions is registration with the National Council for Persons with Disabilities. To curb abuse of the policy, the applicant must be vetted by a certified medical doctor in the presence of an NCPWD representative and a representative of the taxman to ascertain the condition of the applicant.
Despite sensitisation seminars conducted by KRA in conjunction with the NCPWD and other bodies, there could still be Kenyans abled differently out there who are not aware of this tax exemption provision. For deeper awareness, stakeholders such as employers with a staff base comprising persons with disabilities should take the lead role in sensitisation.
The national government, through administrators such as chiefs and county commissioners, should also devise ways of ensuring members of the public in their respective jurisdictions are educated on such matters to help those disabled around them.