Business people have signed a tax harmonization agreement with the district government, which aims, among other things, to eliminate double taxation.
Through their umbrella organization, the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), the businessmen have signed a memorandum of understanding with the county government to protect their businesses.
The agreement signed on Thursday will promote mutual cooperation and understanding between the county and the business community, particularly to avoid the thorny issues of double taxation and harsh penalties for late tax payments.
During the signing ceremony, Dr. Billy Nyonje, KNCCI Vihiga Chapter Chair, said the agreement will provide a platform to support and strengthen trade and investment programs across the county.
“This MOU will allow us to work with the district government, which will help promote local businesses while inviting foreign investors,” Nyonje said.
Crucial to the MoU is how business people are allowed to be taxed only once for their main business in their branches.
“If you have a bookstore and on the other hand you have a photocopy in the same room, the county government is now recommended to only tax the dominant bookstore business,” Nyonje said.
Traders have been urging the county government to stop harassing businesspeople who delay in obtaining business permits.
KNCCI now wants the county government to agree with businessmen that they pay for the permit in installments over the fiscal year.
“The county will be able to discuss with us, the business community, how we can just pay for the permits instead of confiscating goods, causing us to suffer losses,” Nyonje said.
According to Geoffrey Vukaya, the Trade and Industrialization Executive, as part of the three-year contract, the county government will accept timely views from businesspeople on how the planning and budgeting process should be conducted.
The district government in the MoU will also be able to attract more investors to the district based on a friendly business environment.