Photographer: Trevor Snapp/Bloomberg

Kenya Extends Tax Amnesty to Net More Money Held Offshore

  • Citizens have until June 2018 to declare, repatriate funds
  • State says revenue agency won’t question source of cash

Kenyans holding undisclosed funds abroad have until June 2018 to declare the money and repatriate it to remain eligible for a government tax amnesty.

“Amnesty is a voluntary process, and taxpayers volunteer to declare the taxes they have not declared before on condition that the funds must be transferred back to Kenya,’’ Maurice Oray, deputy commissioner of corporate policy at the Kenya Revenue Authority, said in an interview in the capital, Nairobi.

The East African nation initially proposed the amnesty in its 2016-17 budget, when Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich said the revenue agency wouldn’t question the source of the funds or levy taxes on assets returned before December 2017. In this year’s budget, the government is proposing to extend the reprieve period by six months to give people time to comply, Oray said.

Tax advisory firms are waiting for the passing of the coming fiscal year’s budget and finalization of tax amnesty guidelines to establish what rules will apply, how they will be implemented and the likely impact of the amendments, according to Shreya Shah, a tax manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Nairobi.

“The ramifications will only be known once the Finance Act 2017 is enacted and guidelines are issued by the KRA, particularly on the definition of funds,’’ Shah said in an emailed response to questions.

The government plans to increase spending to 2.287 trillion shillings ($22.1 billion) in the fiscal year that starts in July, a 2.6 percent increase from this year. It’s targeting 1.7 trillion shillings in revenue.

(Updates with government’s revenue projections in final paragraph.)
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