Emmanuel Masinde @baromeo
Kenyan athletes have been advised to educate themselves on the tax treaties the country has with other nations to avoid falling victim of double taxation.
The runners, who win colossal amounts of money alongside other gifts from various races abroad, have been lamenting that they are forced to pay tax twice, first in the countries they compete in and upon arrival in Kenya hence depleting their income.
At some point, some of them threatened not to run for Kenya anymore while the issue has also been blamed on the numerous cases of local runners switching allegiance to other countries which have ‘favourable’ tax regimes.
But it is now emerging that the athletes are victims of lack of information since Kenya has varying tax treaties with a number of nations.
The revelation came to the fore during a taxation workshop that brought together athletes and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officials held at Keellu resort in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet on Wednesday.
“To avoid double taxation when you go out and compete, you have to declare the countries that have already taxed you upon arrival in Kenya. If you have been taxed in those countries that have treaties with us, you should not be taxed again,” KRA Domestic Taxes North Rift region manager Jonah Cheptongoch told the athletes.
He told the media: “We have taught them what is allowed in the country according to the customs and excise management act. We have showed them the law that requires them to come with personal effects which are duty free and other goods that attract tax.”
KRA also advised the athletes to bring their goods in to the country via Athletics Kenya so that they do not pay taxes on them but this proposal was rejected outright, the runners claiming AK is not trustworthy.
Two-time Linz marathon Elias Maindi said the workshop was an eye opener which has left them with a good understanding of taxation issues.