The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has been urged to inspire confidence among taxpayers, which is part of inculcating voluntary compliance.
Prime Cabinet Secretary, Musalia Mudavadi has said that the Government has introduced radical measures to transform tax administration to achieve the full potential in revenue mobilization.
He noted that KRA, which is governments’ national revenue collection agency, should embrace professionalism and enhance efficiency and fairness.
“All nations depend on taxes to provide public services to citizens and sustain economic growth. Through taxes, we build and run hospitals, develop schools, pay teachers, deliver water, construct national transport networks, and provide national security, among other public necessities,” he stated.
Mudavadi was speaking at the recruits training college in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu where he represented President William Ruto in the graduation ceremony for KRA Revenue Service Assistants.
Through revenue mobilization, Mudavadi said that the country will be able to meet its national and international obligations.
He urged Kenyans to ignore dissenting voices purporting that the government is placing punitive taxation measures on Kenyans.
“Developing effective and efficient revenue mobilisation measures is a significant step in gauging the performance of Government. In-turn, it is an obligation for every citizen to pay their share of taxes,” he said.
Mudavadi says time has come for Kenyans to change their mind set and realize that they hold the destiny of their country thus everyone is obliged to honour their tax obligations.
Recent statistics indicate that KRA has maintained an encouraging upward trajectory in revenue collection, after adopting business-friendly approaches.
It recorded a 6.7 per cent growth in the Financial Year 2022/2023 after collecting Ksh2.166 Trillion compared to Ksh2.031 Trillion in the2021/2022 financial year.
“I want to commend KRA for its role in supporting the country’s development agenda. I encourage them to continue working hard towards improving tax collection to enable this country become financially sovereign.” he said.
“As the tax man you are expected to enforce tax compliance. But even as you engage in revenue collection and sealing leakages, you must also be respectful of the taxpayers. Understand the flow of their revenue streams and help them organise themselves to operate within the law. They are your valued patrons, not criminals,” cautioned Mudavadi.
The one-time Finance Minister further cautioned that business fear of government officials and operations prevents them from maximizing their potential and denies the country the growth of revenue and overall uptake of the economy.
He called upon KRA through its staff to help businesses comply with their tax obligations by simplifying processes and providing a steady and predictable business environment.
“A business-friendly approach is what you are obligated to. Government has to collect revenue but we will not kill the goose that lays the golden egg. We have to be realistic on the targets we set so that we do not go to an extent of panicking and doing things that are not business friendly. Policies must reflect the outcome,” said Mudavadi.
While lauding the 1405 graduands who have completed a two months training course to become revenue service assistants, the Prime Cabinet Secretary said it is always a moment of joy when talents are nurtured for the benefit of the economic and sovereign growth of the country.
“This ceremony marks the end of training that has developed talents to protect and boost national tax revenues. This is commendable and your entry should make tax collection laudable in the financial year 2023/2024,” he told the graduands.
Citing that one of the stringent measures KRA must implement is professionalism of tax officers, he stated that Training of tax administration officers is one way through which integrity in tax mobilization can be enforced.
“Tax institutions insist on the urgency of capacity building of tax administration officers in modern tax systems and strategies. Capacity building should therefore be seen in the prism of developing an effective contemporary tax system to fund development and create economic resilience.” he said.