In Brief

KRA freezes tax relief payments, starts audit

The taxman has frozen the payment of tax refunds, exemptions, waivers and abandonments effective immediately as the agency starts an audit on the same just days after a huge shakeup that saw the exit of James Githii Mburu as the Commissioner General.

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) said the suspension of the payments was as a result of “concerns from taxpayers” which has prompted the need to reorganize the rules and procedures on tax exemptions with a view to aligning them with global best practices.

The taxman has been granting tax reliefs and incentives of roughly Kes122 billion per year in the last five years. “The move to suspend payment of tax reliefs allows KRA to audit and enhance tax relief processes and procedures. KRA continues to comply with the law by assessing and processing the tax reliefs during this process. However, payments will not be disbursed until the end of the process,” a statement from KRA said.

Over 40 senior managers are said to have been affected in a huge shakeup that is underway at the KRA. “This is a total overhaul,” KRA board chairman Anthony Mwaura told Nation.

In the executive realignments rolled out at the agency that is charged with collecting Kes3 trillion in the fiscal year ending June, three Commissioners Dr Mohammed Omar (Strategy Innovation and Risk Management), Dr Fred Mugambi Mwirigi (Kenya School of Revenue Administration) and Paul Matuku (Legal Services and Board Coordination) were retained.

Ms Rispah Muthoni Simiyu, the current Commissioner of Domestic Taxes, has been appointed as the acting Commissioner-General.

Those who were kicked out of Times Tower were Lilian Nyawanda (Commissioner, Customs and Border Control), Mr Terra Saidimu (Commissioner, Intelligence & Strategic Operations), Mr David Kinuu (Commissioner, Corporate Support Services) and Mr Edward Kinyua Karanja (Investigation and Enforcement).

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