Assessing the relevance of tax incentives on investments in Kenyans export processing zones: in support of equitable sharing of tax burdens
Equitable sharing of tax burdens is one of the desirable attributes of a sound tax system. It requires everyone to contribute towards the support of the government and pay taxes in proportion to their abilities and revenue earned respectively. Accordingly, those with higher incomes ought to pay more taxes than those with relatively lower earnings in the society. This is necessary for two reasons, first, to ensure that the state generates adequate revenue to provide for the welfare of citizens and accomplish other public objectives, and second, to boost public confidence in the tax system. Thus, irrespective of the goals and design of a tax system, a government ought to ensure that it promotes fair sharing of tax burdens. As such, the use of tax incentives to stimulate higher levels of investments into Kenya’s Export Processing Zones (EPZs) should achieve the ultimate goal of equity by ensuring that revenue generated is adequate to provide for public welfare, guarantees citizens’ right to fair taxation and inspires public confidence in the tax system. Tax incentives must be relevant and the revenue foregone adequately compensated by the benefits accruing from the EPZs. This study sought to contribute critically to the debate on equitable taxation in the provision of tax incentives on investments by the Government of Kenya (GOK). The research involved a critical analysis of the Constitution, tax legislations and other relevant literature. At the end, the study made recommendations that apply the principle of equitable sharing of tax burdens in the provision of tax incentives on investments within the EPZs.