The Coronavirus outbreak has forced many to lockdown. A step that has forced the government to introduce tax relief to tax payers. Many citizens are ending up unemployed as companies, schools and personal businesses are not operating normally. Now, citizens are complaining about the high charges imposed by the government, yet they have no jobs. As you know, tax is one of the significant pivotal aspects of the economy. Despite the lack of employment, the government cannot give a hundred per cent tax relief.
According to the latest news, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the new measures regarding the tax payment regime. Besides, it is one of the legislative proposals to be discussed by MPs on Wednesdays’ sitting. Following Article 118 (1) (b) of the constitution, interested Kenyans should submit their views on the same to the National Assembly Clerk. Citizens are supposed to send their written memoranda regarding the order by Monday evening.
The act of democracy
The government is willing to give Kenyans a chance to give out their views concerning the tax relief measures. The invitation of the public is in line with Article 188 of the Constitution, which allows residents to take part in public participation. Furthermore, it gives room for the society to get involved in legislative as well as other businesses of the House.
As per the news, last Friday, Justin Muturi, the National Assembly Speaker permitted the gazetting of the exclusive House sitting. According to the Muturi, the Parliament is to focus on economic incentive involvements during the session. The meeting follows orders given by the president on measures to address the Coronavirus pandemic.
Governments view on the tax rate
Following the need to address the Covid-19 outbreak, there is a tabulation of a statement on proposals as well as measures in place and related urgent issues. For instance, Ukur Yatani, the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, published a notice showing the reduction of tax. The government has minimized the Value Added Tax (VAT) from sixteen per cent to fourteen per cent.
According to the law, the Cabinet Secretary has the power to amend tax rates, by decreasing or increasing. However, the law does not allow him to change the standards by more than twenty-five per cent of the initial amount. Fourteen days ago, Uhuru Kenyatta, the President of Kenya, announced the measures in place to help citizens from the adverse effects caused by the Coronavirus.
The president called for relief in payment of tax, that is, one hundred per cent tax relief on people earning twenty-four thousand Kenya shillings and below. Similarly, VAT reduction from sixteen per cent to fourteen per cent as well as thirty per cent to twenty-five per cent cut of corporate tax. The head of Public Accounts Committee and Ugunja MP, Opiyo Wandanyi says the measures are reassuring and well thought through.
Cutting of the taxes is a good move, especially during the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures will cushion the Kenyans citizens much during this hard time. Furthermore, the president should impose strict rules to minimize corruption as it will free more resources. Additionally, the government should also assist people in arid and semi-arid areas now more than ever.
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