Kenya will create an international taxation center to help in the global crackdown against tax avoidance, a senior official said on Wednesday.
John Njiraini, the Commissioner General of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), said the formation of the international tax office would enable Kenya to curb tax evasion.
The office would be used to combat tax avoidance systems allegedly masterminded by foreign multinational firms.
“We are focusing on international taxation,” Njiraini told a news conference. “The Parliamentary Committee on finance is keen on the issue of international taxation.”
Njiraini said the authority was looking for coöperation with foreign firms through the tax office.
“They will be required to file their policies dealing with issues such as international taxation with us. We are focused on the profiling of international transactions. We will advice on the policies and whether they are adequate to ensure full compliance with the tax laws,” Njiraini said.
“We are developing our capacity to deal with the issues of international taxation and we feel the requirements are increasing within Africa,” Njiraini said.
Njiraini also said Kenya was training staff to handle the taxation of oil sector and other related fields once the country begins exploiting some newly discovered minerals as well as crude oil.
African countries have battled with the problem of tax avoidance. A recent report by a joint investigating team formed by the African Union and the UN Economic Commission for Africa said that in 2015 African countries lost 50 billion U.S. dollars, through tax avoidance schemes.
Last year, the KRA reported the retrieval of 148 million dollars from 30 foreign multinationals, which were part of a scheme to avoid the payment of taxes.