The Kenya Government has reiterated its commitment in implementing international standards on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes as part of a national effort to curb tax evasion and illicit financial flows.
Speaking at the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes Plenary virtual meeting, National Treasury Principal Secretary Dr Julius Muia assured global tax administration players that Kenya is on course to implement automatic exchange of information protocols on taxation by September 2022.
Kenya, Dr Muia told the Global Forum delegates, has taken decisive steps in implementing the international standards of exchange of information to help fight tax evasion.
“These decisive steps to implement the two international standards of exchange of information are expected to greatly reduce the incidents of tax evasion as we shall have access to information that was previously not available to us, and this will enhance our capacity to address tax evasion and raise tax revenues for the benefit of our country,” Dr Muia said.
Ahead of the 2022 ratification, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) tax auditors and investigators who are handling multi-national audits and investigations, he said, are already utilising the exchange of information tools to obtain information that was not being disclosed by some taxpayers. This, he noted, will enhance the quality and accuracy of the tax audits and investigations that Kenya undertakes.
Kenya is among over 100 countries that are already exchanging information automatically and has made a voluntary commitment to commence information exchange by the year 2022 alongside Morocco and Georgia in 2023.
This year, the overarching theme for the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes Plenary virtual meeting running through to Friday is: “Transparency for tax purposes in the time of COVID-19 – Working together to promote the fairness of tax systems and generate revenue.”
At the plenary meeting, National Treasury PS Dr Muia acknowledged that even as governments continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic globally, multilateral co-operation on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes is increasingly important to help them mobilise tax revenues and ensure that all taxpayers pay what is due.
“In Kenya, the national government and the Kenya Revenue Authority have committed to commence the exchange of information by 2022 and shall continue to extend our support for global actions aimed at meeting the current economic and administrative challenges as part of our National Post Covid-19 Economic Recovery Strategy,” Dr Muia said.
“This commitment to the Global Forum and the implementation of the international standards of transparency and exchange of information is because Kenya appreciates the importance of international co-operation in addressing the challenges of tax evasion.”