Company Heads, Clearing Officers & Traders Put On Notice For Defrauding The Taxman

Kenya Revenue Authority is pointing a finger at company heads, traders and foreign investors for working with KRA officers to evade tax. With the recent crackdown on these persons across counties, the taxman has been engaging in a series of court hearings against tax offenders.

In a recent sweep, company directors; Mr. George Bhutto Abiga and Bernard Ochieng Okello both directors of Olympus Computer Garage Limited were charged with offenses that date back to 2014 before Milimani court Chief Magistrate Hon. Francis Andanyi, after company books, proved to be cooked in well-coordinated tax fraud during the years in question.

The two have been charged with various counts under declaration of customs value of goods to reduce payable taxes, claiming tax relief through the use of fictitious invoices, failing to declare sales, omitting taxable income from returns and failing to submit returns.

KRA is also on a hunt after business persons bringing high valued goods into the country, and yet failing to declare or under-declaring value in order to pay less duty tax. Most of these cases have been reported at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

Meanwhile, two people were also charged with illegal importation of ethanol worth Kshs. 3 million before the same court.The suspects, Edward Ngure Njuguna and Duncan Mutuma Justus are accused of importing 42 drums of 250 liters and four jerry cans of 20 liters each of ethanol concealed and packed with maize and rice bran. The importation of concealed goods is contrary to section 202 of the East African Community Customs Management Act, 2004 (EACCMA 2004)

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Ngure and Mutuma were also charged with conveying and being in possession of the unaccustomed goods within Kamandura area of Limuru Sub County in Kiambu County on 30th September 2019. This is contrary to provisions of the EACCMA 2004.

In 2015 the Government introduced procedures to govern access; purchase and importation of ethanol to combat illicit production and consumption of spirit-based beverages. The procedures are based on provisions of Customs and Excise Act. The move took effect from 1st September 2015.

Foreign investors, KRA officers, clearing agents as well as company heads now have a target on their backs in the operation meant to increase tax returns under the campaign “Tujijenge” meant to encourage Kenyans to file their taxes in order to surpass revenue collection for the financial year 2017/2018 that was recorded at KShs. 1.435 trillion.

The taxman is however adamant that it is not scaring away both local and foreign investors in its operations after claims that the institution’s crackdown is being advised by political and business interests.

 

Gathoni Kuria

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