The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) made a U-turn Wednesday on its decision to suspend tax relief following a public outcry.
In a statement, the taxman clarified that the reliefs were not scrapped, a matter than can only be effected through “amendment of the law.”
The suspension affects the provision of reliefs, particularly with reference to refund waivers, exemptions and abandonments.
“This does not mean that the reliefs have been scrapped,” said KRA.
The statement added that past or current relief applications that have been submitted to KRA will still be processed.
On February 28, KRA said the suspension of tax reliefs followed concerns from taxpayers, initiating the need to restructure rules and procedures governing tax exemptions.
“The current suspension and ongoing review of tax reliefs is also aimed at increasing the impact of tax expenditure on economic growth,” said KRA board chair Anthony Ng’ang’a in a statement.
“This move is aimed at powering the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA). In addition to enhancing trust and facilitation, ICRA remains committed to provision of excellent customer service to taxpayers. The Authority will continue working closely with taxpayers to resolve arising issues for ease of tax compliance,” said KRA board chair Anthony Ng’ang’a.
Tax reliefs by the KRA have amounted to Ksh.610 billion, with an average of Ksh.122 billion per annum over the past five years.