$127m re­turned from In­dian banks this year

A 10pc penalty be­comes ef­fec­tive in De­cem­ber, for a fur­ther five years

The East African - - NEWS -


$127.7 mil­lion in non-res­i­dent Gu­jarati de­posits have been with­drawn from Kutch banks since De­cem­ber last year, with the ma­jor­ity of the with­drawals done by the Bhuj and Mandvi talukas na­tive to Gua­jaratis who have set­tled on the con­ti­nent,” the re­ported.

“Un­der the Kenyan tax amnesty scheme, cit­i­zens are sup­posed to repa­tri­ate their for­eign earned as­sets and also to de­clare their for­eign earned in­come be­fore the ex­piry of the amnesty in or­der to avoid penal­ties,” said the lead district man­ager at Kutch, SLBC Gu­jarat San­jay Sinha.

The wealthy in­di­vid­u­als are avoid­ing the 10 per cent penalty if they fail to repa­tri­ate and de­clare their for­eign earned in­come be­fore the De­cem­ber dead­line.

“The vol­un­tar­ily de­clared funds should be repa­tri­ated to Kenya within the amnesty pe­riod. Funds not repa­tri­ated within the amnesty pe­riod may be repa­tri­ated within a fur­ther five-year pe­riod but with a 10 per cent penalty on such re­mit­tances,” the Kenya Rev­enue Au­thor­ity said in a no­tice.

The move comes as the coun­try last week played host to a del­e­ga­tion of more than 30 busi­nesses from Gu­jarat who were in Nairobi scout­ing for in­vest­ments.

“They were so much in­ter­ested in Kenya's en­ergy, agri­cul­tural mech­a­ni­sa­tion, health, min­ing and ICT sec­tors. We had a good en­gage­ment with gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials,” the In­dian High Com­mis­sioner to Kenya Su­chi­tra Du­rai said.

Two years ago, Kenya amended its tax law to pro­vide amnesty on in­come de­clared for the year 2016 by a per­son who earns tax­able in­come out­side Kenya. How­ever, this has seen lower up­take that has seen Na­tional Trea­sury Cabi­net Sec­re­tary Henry Rotich, twice ex­tend it in a bid to woo more wealthy Kenyans to repa­tri­ate their cash back into the coun­try.

“We re­alised that even with the ex­ten­sion, the up­take of the amnesty has been low mostly be­cause there were con­cerns that when the money is re­turned, there would be ques­tion the source as re­quired by Fi­nan­cial Re­port­ing Cen­tre,” Mr Rotich said.

The cur­rent amnesty, as is­sued dur­ing the 2018/19 bud­get pre­sen­ta­tion now of­fers a blan­ket buf­fer, al­low­ing Kenyans to repa­tri­ate their money tax-free with no ques­tions asked about its source. Kenya has also seen its di­as­pora re­mit­tances, out­side of its tra­di­tional mar­kets of North Amer­ica and Europe, rise steadily from $27.6 mil­lion at the start of the year to $51.8 mil­lion as at the end of June, lat­est data from Cen­tral Bank shows.

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