REVENUE

Potential for self-funded development tremendous

Remarkable performance paint a picture of a very resilient and promising economy.

In Summary
  • If everyone eligible to pay taxes pays, as Kenya Revenue Authority boss Githii Mburu likes to put it, “not a shilling more, not a shilling less”, we have room to raise enough revenue.
  • In turn, Kenya’s name will no longer be on the list of countries with a burgeoning foreign debt.
TAXING: People queue for services at KRA offices on Haile Selassie Avenue.
TAXING: People queue for services at KRA offices on Haile Selassie Avenue.

When the 2019-20 revenue performance was published, everyone was shocked as the performance was fairly above the expectations of many. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic striking and paralysing economic activities towards the end of the third quarter of the financial year, the country’s resilient economy still managed to release Sh1.607 trillion in revenue.

According to the taxman, this translated to a 1.7 per cent revenue growth compared to 2018-19’s collection of Sh1.580 trillion.

As the global health crisis spread its tentacles in our country, the government instituted a raft of measures to cushion Kenyans. Changes to the tax laws constituted the bulk of the measures.

Without a doubt, the measures and the dwindling economic performance have had a direct impact on revenue collection. They have meant less revenue in the national coffers. However, as noted earlier, the remarkable performance posted at the end of the financial year paint a picture of a very resilient and promising economy.

This in turn begs the question, in the absence of a crisis such as the one at hand, how much more revenue does Kenya have the potential to mobilise to self-fund her development? Methinks the silver lining in the Covid-19 pandemic is it’s a rare eye-opener to the tremendous potential that lies within our country’s resilient economy.

If everyone eligible to pay taxes pays, as Kenya Revenue Authority boss Githii Mburu likes to put it, “not a shilling more, not a shilling less”, we have room to raise enough revenue. In turn, Kenya’s name will no longer be on the list of countries with a burgeoning foreign debt. That way, we will be in a better position to comfortably and independently fund our development agenda.

It is therefore incumbent upon every eligible taxpayer to honour their civic and patriotic duty truthfully and honestly for a better country.

Deputy Director, KCA University - School of Professional Programs