Alumni Webinar: Becoming Tax Savvy
The weekly Strathmore Alumni webinar, on Thursday, August 6, 2020 tackled a topic close to the pockets of everyone. The webinar under the theme ‘Your Taxes simplified’ discussed the effects of the presidential directive on tax, relief entitlement for individuals, tax obligations for businesses and the importance of being tax compliant.
Gabriel Okoyo, Director at Fortera Consulting ltd, who facilitated the session, has over 11 years of professional experience in offering accounting, tax and business advisory services. He has worked as a Senior Tax Advisor with Tullow Kenya B.V., a part of Tullow Oil Plc and at PwC Kenya and PwC Ghana. He is a Strathmore alumnus having taking the ACCA course currently offered by the Strathmore Institute of Management and Technology.
In the session attended by employers, employees, business and rental house owners, pored over tax basics and different issues pertaining to direct and indirect tax. To begin with, Gabriel stated that an efficient tax system should have equality, certainty, convenience of payments, and economy in collection.
The pandemic that has greatly impacted the world economy has pushed governments across the globe to develop various fiscal and monetary measures to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on households and businesses.
In Kenya, the President assented to an Act of Parliament, the Tax Laws (Amendment) Act, 2020, that made amendments to: The Income Tax Act (ITA); Value-Added Tax (VAT); Excise Duty Act; Tax Procedures Act; Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act and the Kenya Revenue Authority Act. “This move was aimed at cushioning Kenyans and the country’s economy and has increased the disposable income in our pockets which is a welcome relief,” Gabriel said.
The bill reduced the rate of VAT from 16% to 14% thus making Kenya the country with the lowest VAT rate at 14%, with Tanzania’s at 18% and Uganda’s at 16%.
He further emphasized on the need to be aware of our tax obligations and various reliefs we are entitled to, for instance those related to insurance policies one may be holding. The discussion also shed light on changes in the 2020 budget, the implications these have on business owners, employers and employees as well as modalities to follow when filing returns for businesses.
Every week, the Alumni Department engages Strathmore alumni on various topics in a bid to bring the past, present and future of Strathmore together. Join them next week on Thursday at 1pm.
This article was written by Wambui Gachari.
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