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New duty to help curb tax evasion

29 January 2014, 09:29 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi - The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Commissioner General, John Njiraini has said the adoption of Single Customs Territory (SCT) duty will limit tax evasion for goods on transit and enhance free flow of commodities in partner countries.

Njiraini noted that illegal diversion of transit goods to evade taxation by the operators has been a big challenge to KRA in collecting revenue.

"The advantage of Single Customs Territory duty facilitates free movement of goods across borders of member countries without more tax collection at borders once they are levied at the main loading point," said Njiraini.

"This reduces unwanted trucks diversion by transit operators in a bid to avoid paying levies," he added.

He said the implemented SCT initiative which is meant to fully realize the envisaged East African Community (EAC) Customs Union will be intensified as its second phase targets to incorporate Tanzania and Burundi by June 2014.

Njiraini also said  KRA's web-based information service is currently being upgraded to make it more resourceful for taxpayers and other constituencies.

"When our proposed new Customs Management System whose tendering process commenced in early January 2014 is fully implemented, it will replace the current SIMBA System which has been in use since 2005," noted Njiraini.

He stated that the new system will have more superior features to foster better practices in risk management, security targeting and evaluation of cargo.

"The system will provide solutions that will enhance governance in hitherto problematic areas such as Customs auctions through the creation of an online virtual auction platform," he assured.  

Njiraini was speaking in Nairobi Monday during the International Customs Day dubbed "Sharing information for better cooperation".

He noted that KRA is in the process of investing in electronic platform to share information with the public, saying the system will be operational by June 2014.

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