Elite athletes have angrily reacted to plans by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to tax their earnings. In fact, the athletes, led by Cherangany MP Wesley Korir , held a meeting this week where they threatened to boycott big world sports events, like the Olympic Games, unless the government stops chasing after their hard-earned money. The question whether athletes should pay taxes on earnings made outside the country is not new. Their bulging income is evident in several parts of the country, and it was inevitable that the taxman would come calling. After all, the government must raise money to fund its programmes that ultimately benefit the citizenry, including the athletes. But the athletes say they face double taxation, first in the country where they are paid and then at home. They also contend, rightly, that they have positively raised the profile of Kenya in the world by winning races in big sporting events. KRA, on the other hand, says its computation of taxes takes into account the amount deducted abroad. This is a delicate matter that should be handled carefully — and resolved fast.
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