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Kenyans wire back Sh1trn in offshore bank accounts

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Wealthy Kenyans have wired back an estimated Sh1 trillion from offshore accounts in the past three years, taking advantage of a tax amnesty offered by the Treasury.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in a response to Business Daily queries said the amount was repatriated by some 16,000 applicants who took advantage of the amnesty window during which they were not required to declare the source of their wealth or even account for previous years’ tax arrears.

The amnesty, which was announced by Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich in 2016, is set to close next month.

“We have received over 16,000 applicants with the amount repatriated so far at Sh1,014,058,103,551. The incentive was meant to encourage Kenyans to repatriate their wealth back to the country for purposes of development,” said KRA in a statement.

The amount wired back is more than one third of Kenya’s annual Budget.

Wealthy Kenyans have traditionally stashed wealth abroad to either escape the taxman’s scrutiny or to spread their risks by investing in the more politically and economically stable Western democracies.

A report by an American think tank, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), last year revealed that Kenya’s super-rich were holding more than Sh5 trillion in offshore tax havens across the world.

Another international report released in 2007 detailed how a corrupt network in the Moi administration looted at least Sh130 billion and stashed it abroad, including in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

The report by risk advisers Kroll and Associates was commissioned by the then President Mwai Kibaki’s administration.

The 110-page report published online detailed how people close to Mr Moi set up shell companies, fronts and secret trusts to siphon away Kenyan taxpayers’ money, which they stashed in banks, real estate and companies in an estimated 30 countries around the world.

With the return into the country of the over Sh1 trillion, the owners of the cash have effectively ‘cleaned’ their wealth and evaded any questions on the source of the money or any tax liabilities that may have been due in the years before they made the declaration.

The colossal amount has, however, not made a visible impact in the economy, raising questions on where the cash has been kept.

Kenyan laws have a narrow scope on taxation of wealth earned abroad, but the amnesty offered a golden opportunity for those who had stashed cash offshore to bring it back without scrutiny.

Deloitte East Africa Tax Partner Fred Omondi said in an interview yesterday that most tax audit firms had not received any significant enquiries from Kenyans willing to repatriate wealth back home.

“We haven’t seen a lot of uptake of this amnesty given that most income earned abroad is not subject to taxation in Kenya. Until the money is invested here and taxable income generated, there is no tax revenue to expect,” said Mr Omondi.

Mr Rotich, who yesterday did not respond to our queries on the impact that the Sh1 trillion has had on the economy, at the time of the announcement said the amnesty would make the environment more conducive for those willing to reinvest back home.

“Mr Speaker, taxpayers who take up this amnesty shall have all principal taxes, interests and penalties for the year of income, 2016 and the prior year’s automatically remitted in total. In addition, the government shall not follow up on the sources of such income and assets declared,” said the Treasury CS in his 2016 annual Budget Speech.

The incentive has since been extended twice to allow more uptake after potential applicants failed to take advantage fearing they would be subjected to provisions of Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Mr Rotich last year amended the law to exempt them from the requirement to declare the source of their wealth to the Financial Reporting Centre. He urged taxpayers to take advantage of the amnesty and “clean up their records with KRA”.

KRA then issued guidelines on the repatriation and signed certificates for those who successfully applied for the repatriation during the period. The tax forgiveness applied only to those who declared income from their wealth abroad, including homes, for the period up to December 2018.

They were expected to file their returns with KRA.

Audit firm Ernst and Young, in its analysis of the amnesty in March 2016, warned that the process was prone to abuse.

“The amnesty should be undertaken with precaution as there is the potential for abuse with respect to money laundering under the pretext of repatriating assets,” the firm wrote a day after KRA held a stakeholders meeting to get feedback on the guidelines provided for the amnesty.

Delloite’s Fred Omondi also said the amnesty could have been used by those seeking to clean their funds before taking them back to the offshore havens with the needed legitimacy granted through the repatriation.

source:businessdaily

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Diaspora

Deep-dive Analysis: Studying Master’s At University Of South Florida

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BY BOB MWITI,

Have you ever wondered what it takes to study your master’s  in America?. Well, in this episode of Success With Bob Mwiti Show, I take a deep-dive analysis of taking your master’s at the University of south Florida. If you like my work, please subscribe to my YouTube channel.

A Little Bit About Me!

I am a former international student in USA and I am a senior IT consultant in the areas of Oracle EBS Financials and Robotics Process Automation (RPA) here in USA. I am the programs director of Appstec America – A consulting company based in Tampa, Florida, USA.

I’ve been blessed to have learned a lot in my career as an IT consultant. My life has truly changed, and I’ve made it my mission to give back and serve others beyond myself. Whether that be helping you to relocate to USA as an international student, train you as an IT consultant, help you start and build your own online business, creating your financial freedom, motivating you to pursue your goals and dreams, to being more productive, to inspiring you to constantly improve yourself.

My mission is to get you to wake up to the unlimited potential within you and achieve what you’re truly capable of through my various self-development training programs.On the internet, I openly and passionately share my life experiences and all of the very best concepts, strategies, tools, and resources that I continue to discover that have made a measurable difference to my life, and will do for you as well.

Keep your dream alive and never give up! To learn about my company’s amazing programs, please go to;

www.appstecamerica.com or www.successwithbobmwiti.com

Contact me at;
success@successwithbobmwiti.com
info@appstecamerica.com
+1 813-573-5619 ext 402

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Diaspora

Kenyan man goes missing in US, police ask for help in the search [VIDEO]

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LAWRENCE, MASS. (WHDH) – Lawrence police are seeking the public’s help in their search for a missing man, officials said.

Daniel Mwangi, 31, has been reported missing, officials said on Thursday last week October 8 2020,he had previously complained of a headache and was advised to see a Doctor

The last day he was active on Facebook was Friday after which all his electronic devices went off

Anyone with information is asked to call the Lawrence Police Department at 978-794-5900

Anybody with information of Daniels’s whereabout is requested to contact:

Joseph #617 256 9043, Diana #781 475 7420, Pastor Karanja #617 784 5729

or call the Police Department nearest to you.

 

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HOPE: 36 year old man who scored D+ in Kenya now has 5 degrees from US universities!

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

They say when one door is shut somewhere, a window – or even another door – is open someplace else. The story of US-based Mwangi Mukami reads like fiction.

In his own words, the Kenya education system wrote him off when he got a D+ in his high school exams (KCSE). However, upon landing in the US (where, by and large, people are judged by the content of their character without laying too much emphasis on past failures or mistakes), he embarked on a journey to fulfil his educational dreams.

He went back to school and, as we speak, he has just received his fifth degree at the age of 36. Many Kenyans in US can can relate to Mukami’s story. It resonates because many of them – or their friends and family members – had lost hope in Kenya but the United States offered them a second chance. Now they have their well earned degrees which they would otherwise have only dreamt of. We must add a rider here that although there is no doubt that  opportunities abound in the US, you still have to work very hard to earn those degrees.

Here is Mr Mwangi Mukami  in his own words:

BY MWANGI MUKAMI
I have just received my graduate diploma from UC Berkeley. 20+ years ago, Kenya’s education system wrote me off as a failure because I had a D+.
I remember vividly saying to my peers that I wanted to be a policymaker or an attorney. Their response was a burst of collective laughter and sneer. But here I am—five degrees at 36. I hope God grants me a long life, success, and wealth to open doors of opportunities for more D+ students.
For the misfits, the rejected, and the oppressed. Congratulations to my mom. The degree is a reflection of her tenacity. I am grateful and honored to have wonderful brothers and sisters who support and trust my ability to achieve: Elizabeth Mwariri Keyym Peters, Lissa Irvenne Kayte Khulgal Jeph Collins.

I couldn’t have done it without the encouragement of Kay Ventura, Carol McCrary, and Betty Mc Crary Alarms, And I can’t forget Elizabeth Woods for the many nights she drove to take me to school.

Jim Foti for the countless recommendation letters Joe Beasley for initial grant to attend a community college.

I am because of all these people and I couldn’t be so grateful and honored to have them in my life. For Nick, the next step is a JD.

Image may contain: ‎text that says '‎THE REGENTS OF THE University of Calitornia ON THE NOMINATION OF THE FACULTY OF THE RICHARD AND RHODA GOLDMAN GRADUATE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY HAVE CONFERRED UPON MOSES MWANGI MUKAMI THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS WITH ALL THE RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES THERETO PERTAINING GIVEN AT BERKELEY THIS FIFTEENTH DAY OF MAY IN THE YEAR TWO THOUSAND AND TWENTY OVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA AND PRESIDENT THE REGENTS yat n,ב ESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY CurolT. Chrish CHANCELLOR AT BERKELEY ag...baly מAפם THE &. braly SCHOOL‎'‎

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