VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURE PROGRAMME TO HELP TAXMAN LOOP MORE TAXPAYERS (VDP)

VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURE PROGRAMME

The Tax Procedures Act, 2015 has introduced a Voluntary Disclosure Programme (VDP), where a taxpayer discloses tax liability that was previously undisclosed for the purpose of being granted relief of penalties and interest on the tax disclosed.  Under this programme, taxpayers who have not been disclosing their incomes to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) for the last five years will be granted relief of penalties and interest on the outstanding tax liabilities. This will take effect from 1st January, 2021 and shall operate for a period  as follows;

  1. The disclosures programme will cover tax periods of up to 5 years prior to 1st July 2020 (i.e. as from June 2015). A taxpayer who volunteers under this programme shall not be prosecuted with respect to the tax liability disclosed. This may be in respect to offshore related activities or domestic related activities.
  2. Once VDP application is accepted, the applicant shall be granted a relief of the interest and penalties due on the tax liabilities as follows;
  • 100% relief of the interest and penalties if the tax disclosure is made and Principal tax liabilities paid in the 1st year of the programme (e. 2021)
  • 50% relief of the interest and penalties where the disclosure is made and tax liabilities paid in the 2nd year of the programme, (e. 2022)
  • 25% relief of the interest and penalties where the disclosure is made and tax liabilities paid in the final year of the programme (e. 2023)

Once the relief is granted, the Taxpayer shall be free to agree on a payment plan with the commissioner for a period not exceeding 1 year.

The Taxpayer will be liable to pay the full interest and penalties if the he fails to abide by the terms of VDP.

The taxpayer shall lose the right to seek any legal remedy (i.e. to Tax Appeals Tribunal, High Court) once the VDP is duly executed.

The commissioner shall have the right to withdraw the relief granted on interest and penalties if it’s discovered that full disclosure was not made by the taxpayer.  In addition, such taxpayers may be prosecuted. It is therefore important for taxpayers to make accurate disclosures of their incomes.

Exemptions for the Voluntary Disclosure Programme (VDP)

  1. If the Taxpayer is under audit or investigation or is a party to ongoing litigation in respect of the tax liabilities or any other matter relating to the tax liability;
  2. If the Taxpayer has been notified of a pending audit or investigation by the Commissioner.

It is therefore important for all qualifying taxpayers to take advantage of this amnesty window while it lasts.

 

Disclaimer

The Amendment of the Tax Procedures Act, 2015 Tax article on Voluntary Disclosure Programme (VDP) is written in general terms for guidance only and are not substitute for professional advice or the Law. Whilst every care has been exercised in ensuring the accuracy of information contained herein, we will not accept any responsibility for errors or omissions or for any action taken, or refraining from action without appropriate professional advice

740 comments on this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *