Insurance Brokers to pay Sh.1.5 Billion to KRA

By Soko Directory Team / Published August 30, 2016 | 8:11 am



Efficient-tax-systems

A multi- billion-shilling tax demand on insurance brokers has been made by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in a move to take down the many underwriters in the industry. The bill is related to unpaid excise taxes on commissions earned between July 2013 and December last year when the law exempting them from paying the levy was repealed.

Nelson Omolo, the Chairman of Association of Insurance Brokers- Kenya said that the potential impact of the taxes is that half of the brokers, will easily close businesses if the government insists for the money to be paid. Some of the firms have reportedly been left with more than Sh200 million tax bills, that KRA requires them to immediately settle.

The KRA sent demand letters to the more than 200 insurance brokers claiming amounts of between Sh1.5 million to Sh200 million, for the period in which the 10 per cent excise tax remained in force before Parliament repealed it.

On the other hand, the Insurance Regulatory Authority’s (IRA) data has shown that between July 2013 and December 2015 the brokers were paid commissions amounting to Sh23.85 billion, meaning that they owe the KRA Sh2.39 billion in unpaid taxes before any addition of penalties and accrued monthly interest that are charged at 20 per cent and one per cent respectively.

Mr Omolo stated that the tax demands averaged Sh30 million per broker and that immediate payment of the taxes would lead to the immediate collapse of the firms.

The brokers were last week struggling to negotiate their way out of the backdated taxes but the taxman is said to be insisting on payment.

Omolo said that they have contacted KRA to see if they can be exempted from the back tax, but they have not heard from them adding that majority of their members who have been assessed and sent demand notes have raised objections and have applied for review at the tax tribunal.

Read: KRA registers 2.2 million taxpayers on iTax

Insurers are also required to pay tax on the Sh10.5 billion in reinsurance commissions amounting to Sh1.05 billion earned during the period. The underwriters are, however, deemed to be safe because of their large revenue base and the firm financial position.

The KRA has been looking at multiple avenues of raising tax revenues in light of its ever expanding targets from a government that is facing a gaping budget deficit of Sh689 billion in the current fiscal year.

It has been asked to collect Sh1.4 trillion in tax revenues this year, a target it has warned will be hard to achieve with the expected negative impact of elections on corporate performance.

The taxman is sending the tax demands to insurance brokers in the wake of a High Court decision that dismissed suits filed by the AIBK and the Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI) challenging the excise tax.

Read: Liberty Life Assurance, Heritage Insurance Opens New Library

 




About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system.Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

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