A Nakuru based doctor and activist Magare Gikenyi has moved to court pushing for the inclusion of tithes, offerings and donations in taxation.
Gikenyi has filed a petition before the High Court in Nairobi to have any person and entity exempted from taxation to be subjected to taxation.
The consultant, trauma and general surgeon, has named the Attorney General, CS Treasury and Economic Planning, Kenya Revenue Authority, The Senate, and the National Assembly as respondents in the case.
Additionally, the National Council of Churches of Kenya, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya and the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims have also been named as interested parties.
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Gikenyi Explains Reason why Churches Should be Taxed
In the petition, Gikenyi argued that the Income Tax Act Cap 470 provided for the payment of income tax by various individuals and entities based on the right of the government to impose taxes.
Additionally, he noted that Article 201(b) of the Constitution makes it mandatory for the taxation burden to be shared fairly.
However, according to his petition, Sections 3(2) of the Income Tax Act Cap 470 leaves out other entities of the population from paying tax.
This, he notes, goes against the principal of the Constitution that ensures the tax burden is shared fairly by Kenyans.
“To further go against Constitutional dictates, the impugned statute (ITA) especially at section 13 purports to provide exemptions to payment of income tax income tax to a class of people.
“This is contrary to constitutional dictate which mandates all of us to share the tax burden fairly/equally,” Gikenyi stated in the petition.
In addition, the doctor explained that “the burdens and benefits of the use of resources and public borrowing should be shared equitably between present and future generations,” as indicated in the 2010 constitution.
The Impact of the Income Tax Act of Kenyans
According to the petition, section 13 of the Income Tax Act exempts certain groups of individuals and entities while the rest of Kenyans bear the huge burden.
“This action has allowed the so-called exempts the likes of churches, mosques, temples, some NGOs, some donation groups, and individuals making billions of monies to benefit from this loophole to the detriment of other Kenyans who are toiling to pay their taxes.
“Tithes, offerings, donations and other monies are not taxed courtesy of this provision,” he added.
Gikenyi noted that the discrimination therefor increases the burden to other Kenyans who are faithfully paying tax.