Kenya Targets 500,000 New Taxpayers to Raise $594 Million

(Bloomberg) -- Kenya’s revenue agency will expand its tax base to include landlords and providers of medical services and mobile-money transfers with the view to increasing income by at least 60 billion shillings ($594 million) this year.

“The tax base expansion strategy seeks to acquire information through public and private databases,” Kenya Revenue Authority Commissioner General John Njiraini told reporters in the capital, Nairobi, citing databases maintained by mobile-payment providers and professional bodies. “We are also sourcing data from major private sector players including key public infrastructure contractors and hospitality service providers. We are also targeting real estate owners.”

Kenya aims to raise 1.69 trillion shillings in revenue in the fiscal year through June. That leaves a budget financing gap equal to 5.9 percent of gross domestic product. The Treasury has increased levies including a new value-added tax on petroleum products and higher excise duty on money transactions to boost revenue for funding a record 2.47 trillion shilling spending plan.

The state plans to overhaul its income tax law and draft legislation seeking to make collection more efficient will be introduced in parliament soon, Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich told reporters at the same meeting.

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