The Kenya Union of Special Needs Education Teachers (KUSNET) has asked the Commission for Domestic Taxes to reconsider the requirement for individuals with disabilities to renew their income tax exemption certificates every three years.
KUSNET Secretary General James Torome expressed concern over the arduous renewal process that poses challenges for employees with disabilities, necessitating a lengthy procedure to obtain crucial certificates.
Torome, addressing journalists at the Narok office, questioned the logic behind compelling this vulnerable group to renew their certificates, especially considering some disabilities are permanent.
He emphasized the injustice of forcing individuals with disabilities to seek doctor recommendations every three years, noting that certain disabilities are irreversible.
“The bigger question that rings around our minds is that there are disabilities that are irrevocable. If you push people living with disabilities to go see a doctor to make a recommendation after three years, we are saying that you are not giving justice to where it belongs,” he stated.
Torome appealed to Members of Parliament to champion the revision of the bill in Parliament, emphasizing that this issue affects not only teachers but all employees with disabilities required to renew their certificates every three years.
The application process for income tax exemption involves submitting a medical report, an employer’s letter, a disability membership card, and a tax compliance certificate.
The National Council of Persons Living with Disability arranges for a vetting committee to assess the applicant and provide a recommendation to the commissioner for income tax exemption eligibility.
A dissatisfied applicant can appeal to the Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury if their application is not approved.