Rotich extends tax amnesty for fat cats with cash abroad to June 2018

Wealthy Kenyans who have stashed wealth abroad have an additional six months to file returns on the assets and return them to Kenya.

Treasury CS Henry Rotich in the 2017/18 Budget statement Thursday said the fat cats wishing to enjoy the tax amnesty should file their returns by June 30, 2018. The previous deadline was the end of this year.

The announcement will in effect send the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) back to the drawing board to craft new regulations on the amnesty, with the taxman having just issued guidelines on the same earlier this month.

“Taxpayers willing to enjoy amnesty should declare the income for 2016, file returns and accounts the year by June 30, 2018 and transfer back to Kenya the funds voluntarily declared under the amnesty. I expect KRA to issue guidelines on the same and urge taxpayers to cash in on this amnesty and clean up their records with the KRA,” said Mr Rotich.

The taxman is also expected to provide further clarification on the treatment of immovable assets such as real estate, plant and machinery, stating whether one would be forced to sell such an asset and repatriate the proceeds in order to enjoy the amnesty.

Grey area

Tax experts had earlier pointed to this as a grey area in the set of regulations that the KRA set out on March 9.

“There is lack of clarity in the guidelines on how this will actually work particularly in respect of real estate assets and indeed any liabilities which affect these assets like a mortgage over an overseas property. Other countries, which have required repatriation as part of an amnesty have given periods of two to three years to allow repatriation,” said Daniel Ngumy, a tax partner at Anjarwalla & Khanna Advocates in an earlier email to the Business Daily.

The government is eying the more than £1 billion (Sh124 billion) looted from Kenyan taxpayers during President Moi’s reign and stashed in offshore bank accounts and prime real estate overseas according to a forensic study by Kroll Associates.

Credit: Business Daily

Published on 31 March 2017 | 9:01 am at Source