Let all firms pay their fair share of taxes – Business Daily
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) data showing that nine in 10 companies operating in Kenya did not pay taxes in the year to June should sound an alarm bell.
The KRA figures show that only 84,428 out of the 759,164 firms registered for corporation tax paid their dues for the year ended June 2022.
A compliance rate of just 11.12 percent points to a widespread avoidance that leaves a few firms to shoulder the burden of funding the government. It also suggests that there is a large number of dormant companies and those that are genuinely suffering financial stress on the State register.
For a start, the KRA should probe its data further to establish the truth. However, those found to be cheating or avoiding paying taxes should be brought to book.
It is the duty of all firms operating within the country to pay their fair share of taxes to finance government operations. The taxman must, however, be careful not to disrupt business with draconian and untargeted actions. Its actions must be precise and targeted.
It must avoid any action that will inconvenience employers, suppliers, and small businesses from transacting normal business.
The taxman should also invest in tax education to assist firms that may not be aware of their obligation as stipulated in law.
Some of the non-compliant individuals or entities may be doing so out of ignorance, making it imperative for the KRA to find ways of bringing them to the tax net — not punish them.
However, we cannot emphasise the need for companies to pay their fair share of taxes.