From January next year, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) will get bank details of Kenyans with offshore accounts including President Uhuru Kenyatta in Panama and the British Virgin Island under ‘client 13173’.
The National Treasury has published new regulations to implement data-sharing agreements with 106 countries including the UK, the Islands (Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man), and Panama in a bid to slay the tax evasion dragon.
The Common Reporting Standard is supposed to tighten the noose on individuals and companies who should be paying taxes in Kenya but instead wire their profits abroad.
Kenya joins the countries that must now obtain certain customer information from their financial institutions and exchange that data on an annual basis with other participating jurisdictions.
This arrangement will give the taxman access to a treasure trove of data including the name, address, residence, tax identification number (TTIN), and date and place of birth of individuals and companies operating offshore bank accounts directly or via nominees and trust funds.
It will disclose the amount, currency of cash in the accounts including annual interests and all dividends if any funneled to such accounts.
The new regulations mean that KRA will obtain information on individuals and companies that shift money to tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands and Panama including the accounts held by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family.
The President, his mother, sisters and brother, have for decades used foundations and companies in tax havens, including Panama, to hold assets worth more than $30 million (Kes3.3 billion) according to revelations by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
The records–from the Panamanian law firm, Aleman, Cordero, Galindo & Lee (Alcogal)–show that the family owns at least seven such entities, two registered anonymously in Panama and five in the British Virgin Islands.