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Ruto warns KRA after wave of complaints about harassment at JKIA

Treasury CS Njuguna Ndung'u clarifies that no new taxes have been introduced on travelers' personal effects and directed KRA officials not to mishandle passengers.

President William Ruto speaking at  the 2023 Taxpayers’ Day in Mombasa County on Friday, November 3, 2023

President William Ruto has cautioned the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) against resorting to undue measures in the collection of taxes, emphasizing the importance of leveraging technology for a streamlined and efficient process.

He was speaking at the 2023 Taxpayers’ Day in Mombasa County on Friday, November 3.

President William Ruto highlighting the potential for the KRA to gather sufficient revenue to support public services without causing distress to taxpayers.

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He stressed the need for a balanced approach and added that the integration of technology in tax administration could be a pivotal solution to address challenges such as evasion, wastage, and enhance overall effectiveness.

"It is possible for the Kenya Revenue Authority to collect an adequate amount of taxes to support our investments in public services without harassing taxpayers.

"The integration of technology in the administration of tax will tame such abuses, diminish evasion, reduce wastage, and facilitate effective and efficient collection," he said.

In the same breath, Treasury CS Njuguna Ndung'u clarified that no new taxes have been introduced on travelers' personal effects and directed KRA officials not to mishandle passengers.

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This comes after a wave of complaints from Kenyan citizens expressing grievances over alleged harassment by KRA officials, particularly at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

Many individuals shared their encounters with KRA, specifically recounting incidents where they were compelled to pay substantial taxes or forfeit personal items upon entering the country.

The crux of the debate revolves around KRA's policy stipulating that individuals must pay taxes for items valued at $500 (Sh75,000) and above.

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