7 things CFOs should know about tax in East Africa

In March CFO South Africa's principal sponsor KPMG brought a team of its most eminent tax experts from all corners of Africa to Johannesburg to speak to a gathering of CFOs during the Moving into Africa event in the Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton.

A great contribution came from Richard Ndung'u, Partner and Head of Tax at KPMG in Kenya. He spoke about the latest developments and pitfalls when dealing with tax in East African countries.

Here are 7 things CFOs should know about tax in East Africa.

  1. "In Kenya the tax authority cannot rely anymore on the automatic cooperation of judges. Transparency is creeping up. People are now justifiably frightened to do business under the table," says Richard Ndung'u.
  2. There are no forex restrictions.
  3. The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is the 'Big Brother' authority in the East African region and sets the tone. "They are the most aggressive and they influence the other East African authorities.
  4. Automation of the tax systems in the region is happening: e-filing, e-payments and e-registration platforms
  5. More and more countries officer One Stop Shops for businesses, like Huduma Centers in Kenya and the Rwanda investment center. "These allow for easier registration of businesses," says Ndung'u.
  6. Tax authorities can issue advance tax rulings on contentious issues.
  7. Tax Revenue Appeals Tribunals have been established for the resolution of tax related issues.
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