Businesses and individual taxpayers have applied for waivers on tax penalties and interest amounting to Ksh 21 billion.
Failure to apply for the waivers would have seen the businesses and individuals face property seizures and auction by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA). Many of the waiver applications were made right before the deadline date set by the taxman.
Official statistics show that a total of 170,000 businesses and individuals had by Sunday made formal applications for the waivers. KRA has already started processing the applications that are valued at approximately Ksh 21 billion.
As the taxman continues with the review of waiver applications, applicants are bound to prove financial distress which prevented them from paying up the amount owed or demonstrate that the fines were imposed erroneously.
“Should the taxpayers not provide the justification and evidence after the expiry of the 30 days, the KRA will reject all such applications. This then means that the KRA will take enforcement measures, after 90 days, to recover the tax arrears outstanding as provided for under the tax law,” KRA said.
Taxpayers who will still have arrears stand a risk of losing more than just seizure and auctioning of property. The taxman can also issue travel bans on defaulters, collect duty directly from suppliers and bankers of those with arrears but have disregarded calls to pay.
Should the KRA deregister the PINs, affected individuals and businesses will from November be cut off from all transactions requiring proof of active registration as a taxpayer, including registration of land titles, approval of development plans, registration, transfer and licensing of motor vehicles and registration of business names and companies.
In a bid to improve compliance, the KRA has offered waivers on tax dues accumulated for up to five years. This, it hopes, would entice firms and individuals to voluntarily declare such dues.
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