Is China on President’s neck?Uhuru orders crackdown on tax evaders

Have you ever imagined that Kenya will at one point clear all the foreign debts it holds currently? This might be the direction President Uhuru Kenyatta want to take.

In what looks like a technique to clear the billions of money Kenya owes foreign countries among them China, President Kenyatta on Wednesday directed the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to conduct audit on high-net-worth individuals who live large but pay little in taxes.

“High net-worth individuals whose lifestyles are not reflective of the taxes they pay, if any, must be compelled to demonstrate the source of their wealth and contribute their share of tax accordingly,” the President said.

The President was speaking at the KRA Taxpayers Awards event at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), an event that fetes organisations that diligently remit taxes.

“We have taken steps to widen the tax space and find more ways to bring in more Kenyans into the tax net,” added the President.

Kenyatta further cited that the law must reflect the seriousness of tax collection and the consequences of default adding that there should be no space for tax evaders in Kenya.

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Kenya’s public debt  crossed the Sh5 trillion mark for the first time, shining the light on Treasury mandarins and renewing the protracted debate on the country’s ability to carry the load in the long term.

Official statistics show that the latest acceleration in the debt pile up was mainly from external borrowing, which pushed total outstanding foreign debt to Sh2.563 trillion as at the end of February.

The steep rise in debt means a looming increase in debt servicing obligations, including interest and principal repayments, whose ultimate impact is to increase recurrent expenditure and a squeeze on development spending.

A major part of the increase in bilateral debt is Chinese-related, a large segment having been taken to finance the standard gauge railway.

Could it be the one pressurizing President Kenyatta to give these directions to KRA?

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