Some Ksh900 billion that wealthy Kenyans repatriated back to the country from offshore accounts after the government declared amnesty on tax and source declaration cannot be traced.
The Business Daily on Tuesday, quoting Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) records reported that by August 10, 3,543 Kenyans had repatriated Sh118 billion.
The amount is paltry considering that in May, KRA declared Ksh1.014 trillion as cash wired back into the country by 16,000 Kenyans meaning that Ksh896 billion cannot be traced within the Kenyan financial system.
It is unclear at this juncture whether the repatriated money was used for the mooted purpose of development or shipped back to offshore investments after receiving clearance from the government.
The applicants took advantage of the three-year amnesty window to repatriate the billions tax-free in a period when they were not required to declare the source of their wealth or even account for previous years’ tax arrears.
“The seekers were only required to declare to KRA foreign earned income and repatriate proceeds to Kenya by June 30, 2019,” the KRA told the publication in a statement.
“In absence, declaration made but funds repatriated later on or before June 30, 2024 would suffer a penalty of 10 percent of the repatriated funds,”
The government by offering the questionably wealthy Kenyans the amnesty in 2016,wanted to attract back the wealth stashed in foreign accounts to develop the country.
Analysts say that the amnesty could have been a window of opportunity for this class of individuals to clean their money and wire it to foreign capitals in the knowledge that the source of the money could now not be questioned.
Tax havens such as Switzerland, The Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, and Channel Islands are preferred by wealthy Kenyans seeking to avoid paying taxes or those who do not want the source of their wealth investigated.
This means that the owners of these funds are now sitting pretty without having to worry about any tax liabilities that may have been due in the years before they made the declaration.