- The 29 businesses are in diverse sectors, including alcohol and beverage, construction, mobile and computer accessories, sports tourism, manufacturing, and cooking gas distribution.
- Keroche Breweries founders Tabitha Karanja and her husband Joseph Karanja have also been charged on suspicion of evading taxes amounting to Sh14.4 billion.
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has issued orders stopping 29 suspected tax cheats from exiting the country, signalling the deployment of new measures to pile pressure on businesses flouting tax regulations.
The 29, 16 Kenyans and 13 foreigners, owe KRA more than Sh9.2 billion, the authority’s Commissioner for Investigation and Enforcement David Yego told the Sunday Nation.
“The commissioner has the power to issue Departure Prohibition Orders (DPOs) in respect of taxes collectable as a debt to the government as envisaged under Section 45 of the Tax Procedures Act. DPOs have been instrumental in dealing with taxpayers who are a flight risk,” said Mr Yego.
Orders issued under the said section, he added, have the potential to disrupt travel until outstanding taxes are paid or reasonable arrangements are made to ensure that payment is made.
“Once this is done, the commissioner may revoke the orders,” he said. The renewed crackdown on tax evaders is targeting individuals and organisations that fail to disclose fully the income they have earned, those who misreport expenses with the intention of reducing the taxable income, those who fail to pay the correct import taxes through concealment of goods, false declarations and undervaluation, and failure to withhold and remit taxes as required by law, among others.
KRA Commissioner-General Githii Mburu recently said that he was keen to ensure that “all persons who are required to pay taxes do so for the good of this country”.
The DPOs against the 29 were issued on diverse dates between February and November.