Kenya’s complex tax system burdens taxpayers
Kenya has a complex tax system that makes it expensive for taxpayers to comply with an increased cost of doing business, a new report from the country’s ministry of finance has indicated.
The complicated tax structure, the report on public finance and expenditure pointed out, is costly to implement occasioning losses to the East African nation’s economy.
“Kenya’s tax system is highly complex, at first sight much more so relative to other African countries, due to the existence of multiple tax rates and incentives,” noted the report received on Thursday. Some of the things that make the East African nation’s tax structure complex are systems of waivers, exemptions, zero ratings, tax refunds and debt write-offs.
“This system that encompasses a variety of tax exemptions makes its administration costly and increases costs to the taxpayer of complying with it,” said the report prepared by GIZ, European Union and Kenya’s government.
The more complex a tax system is, according to the report, the more costly is its administration and the more expensive it is for people to comply with it. Taxes administered in Kenya include corporate income tax, personal income tax, Value Added Tax (VAT) and withholding tax.
Corporate income tax rate is 30 percent, personal income tax rate ranges between 10 percent and 30 percent, VAT rate is 16 percent and while withholding tax rates begin from 5 percent and depend on income source and whether one is a Kenyan or not.