The Government is demanding about Sh9,000 from every teacher who marked Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams last year out of the Sh30,000 pay they received.
The 14,000 teachers hired by the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) to mark the KCSE scripts last year were paid via mobile money and now the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) says they did not pay taxes for the ‘side hustle.’
This is despite Knec having withheld five per cent of the pay as tax remitted to KRA. Teachers who tried to file their tax returns were shocked to get a demand from the taxman that they have to settle the amount deductible for consulting with the Knec.
According to a message circulating within teaching circles, the teachers are being told to settle the bill in cash, which may soon start attracting penalties if not paid to KRA.
Big challenge“Knec deducted and submitted 5 per cent instead of 30 per cent, you have to pay the balance of slightly over Sh8,000 to KRA in cash before April 30. It is official communication,” noted one of the affected teachers.
One examiner said they had received a demand for Sh9000 and said it would be a big challenge to meet the shock payment.
“Why did they have to wait until all the money was spent or even better,” said the examiner.Teachers spend at least two weeks hoarded up in student dormitories before Christmas trying to beat tight government schedules to mark papers only to have KRA rip almost every penny from their hands.
“Normally withholding tax on professional fees or earnings from consultancy is 5 per cent, 30 per cent seems a bit too high and unusual,” Ajmera said.
The tax expert said Knec must have treated the examiners as consultants. When someone pays a consultant who is resident professional fees above Sh24,000 in a month he is required by law to deduct tax at 5 per cent.
However he noted there are ways they can pay next to nothing if they played their cards well and calculate expenses into the KRA demand.