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Turkana traders benefit from tax training

Turkana branch of Chamber of Commerce and Industry together with KRA Lodwar office on Thursday held a joint tax clinic for business persons.

 

The training also brought on board other county departments including Lodwar Municipal Council, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Tourism, Officers from County Enforcement among others.

 

The presence of other county departments was meant to enlighten the business persons who are the chamber members of the various safety standards that should be adhered to at the business set up to avoid putting the lives of consumers at risks.

 

Pius Ewoton, the chairman Turkana Chamber of Commerce reiterated the commitment of the chamber to create a more enabling environment that will promote businesses.

 

“Our key responsibility is to work closely with other key actors to bridge the information gap and ensure that our members are doing their businesses from an informed point of view,” said Ewoton.

 

Tax Base Expansion Officer-Lodwar KRA Office Ezekiel Aringo said there used to be a misconception revolving around harassment by the KRA officers adding that such fora  can build rapport and iron out misunderstandings with the business people.

 

Aringo further added, ” it is normally said ‘Tulipe Ushuru Tujitegemee’ and added that the essence of paying taxes is to enable the government continue with provision of essential services therefore it is our responsibility to pay all taxes as required to avoid penalties”.

 

While speaking at the same event, the Public Health Officer for Lodwar Municipality Kwaba Omwenga called on the business persons in attendance to ensure high food safety and hygiene is maintained at all time to safeguard the health of the general public.

 

While making his presentation Mr. Bob Cheruiyot, Officer from KRA Lodwar office informed members about the various domestic tax categories.

 

“Knowledge of the various taxes you are supposed to comply with saves you from fines among other inconveniences that may affect your business,” he said.

 

On his part Mr Ekaran Losike,  Environmental Sub County Officer for Turkana central cautioned the business community to adhere to all environmental protection practices at all times.

 

He said the use of plactic bags is prohibited and called for adherence to the law.

 

He added the county government has service providers given the role of collecting waste and called upon the public to support those service providers by discarding waste materials at strategic position for timely collection.

 

During the training, it also emerged that some of the Cyber Services providers are not competent enough to file various tax returns. To bridge this knowledge gap the KRA team noted that plans are at advanced stage to ensure all Cyber owners across the county are trained on appropriate tax returns filing.

 

 

While giving a vote of thanks on behalf of the chamber members,  Daniel Lomalia expressed his gratitude to the Chamber leadership, KRA officials and the County officials for convening such educative forums.

 

“As business people we have been penalized many times for not complying with tax regulations we were not aware about, this training has been an eye opener and we request for more of such trainings,” he said.

 

Others who were also in attendance included  Francis Edome, County Executive Officer Turkana Chamber of Commerce,  Edward Okumu, the Sub County Coordinator for Turkana Chamber, James Kibele, Chamber Director for Turkana South, Benson Ebei, Chairman for Bars and Restaurants Association among others.

 

by Peter Gitonga

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