Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) cannot reportedly trace Sh803 billion repatriated back to the country from offshore accounts by wealthy Kenyans since mid-2016.
On Tuesday, a KRA top official said they are not sure whether the money was used for the intended purpose of development or was wired back abroad after getting clearance from the government, Business Daily reported.
The amount was shipped back to Kenya in the last three years after National Treasury offered an amnesty on tax and the source of the riches stashed overseas.
More than 3,000 rich Kenyans took advantage of the three-year tax pardon period to wire back assets hidden in foreign accounts. During the period, the individuals were spared from declaring the source of their riches or even account for tax arrears for previous years.
“We didn’t come up with a policy to say if you have brought in money, you cannot take it back again. And my fear now is that I might be holding on applications of (repatriated) funds which have already taken flight again,” KRA commissioner for domestic taxes, Elizabeth Meyo said during an Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) meeting in Nairobi.
ICPAK had organized the summit to review the impact of the assets repatriated back from offshore accounts on the country’s economy.
“It’s an issue we are going to look at very critically because I am not seeing the impact of repatriated funds in the economy because Sh803 billion is a lot of money. If it’s true that it came back and it’s in the economy, we would have seen investments going up.”
The tax amnesty, which was announced by suspended Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich in June 2016, ended on June 2019.
There are fears that some wealthy Kenyans used the amnesty window to clean dirty money and later ship it abroad.
In a report last year, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), an American think tank, revealed that wealthy Kenyans were hiding over Sh5 trillion in offshore tax havens across the world.