President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the Kenya Revenue Authority and the National Treasury to immediately embark on an overhaul of Kenya’s tax regime to reduce the burden on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME’s).
On Thursday, 12 December 2019, the president said Kenya’s economic growth figures have been impressive but the tax burden on SMEs has to be reduced so that a bigger margin of Kenyans can reap the benefits.
Kenyatta issued the directive when he led Kenyans in marking this year’s Jamhuri, a day marked to commemorate when Kenya gained internal self-rule from British colonial control 56 years ago.
The ceremony was also attended by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley of Barbados.
Kenyatta said the government is focused on unlocking bottlenecks that are holding back the potential of Kenyan enterprises.
“My administration is focused on other salient factors that are holding back the potential of our enterprises; particularly with regard to taxes and tax administration, reduction or, where possible, elimination of fees or charges levied by government agencies as well as the private sector,” the president said.
He said the government is determined to ensure elimination bureaucracy and simplification of processes in trade, access to credit, as well as streamline consumer protection.
“In order to address some of these challenges, I order and direct that the National Treasury and the Kenya Revenue Authority, review our tax structures, especially in relation to small businesses, so as to reduce the tax burden while fostering tax-compliance,” the president said.
Kenyatta said the government will continue making Kenya more attractive for direct foreign investment and will sustain the regulatory reforms that have seen the country improve in the World Bank ease of doing business rankings.
He said the sustained reforms will continue cementing Nairobi’s place as a diplomatic hub and Kenya’s position as an economic powerhouse in the region.