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SHOPPING BAGS: How some Thika supermarkets are stealing from you, government.

If you have been keen enough to observe the receipts you get from our supermarkets in Thika, you might have noticed that some of them do not key in the cost you incur as they charge you for the shopping bag they give you to pack your purchases.

In the list of the items you have paid for, the amount paid for these shopping bags are not usually reflected. This simply means two things…

First, by not keying in that you have actually paid for that bag, the supermarket concerned is simply implying that they have given out this bag to you for free. Therefore, the money they take from you for the bag is being stolen from you as in their records, your money don’t reflect anywhere.

Secondly, in their Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) returns, they probably indicate that these bags are issued to you for free thus they (the supermarkets) should not be charged any Value Added Tax (VAT) for the same. So, in the process, they are stealing from the government by through tax evasion occasioned by false returns.

The VAT Law requires all traders to issue a tax invoice for every supply of taxable goods or taxable services, which must show the amounts of tax charged. They must therefore furnish the purchaser with a tax invoice at the time of supply.

Where cash sales are made from retail premises, these supermarkets should issue a simplified tax invoice that is a register receipt which in this case is not happening.

Basically, these traders are using all manner of tricks to stay out of the tax net.

What we are trying to say is that customers must be offered receipts for all indoor sales indicating all what they have purchased, their quantities, amounts and the value of VAT (if any) charged.

Receipts are an integral part of the income-reporting system in any company – for this reason, they must always be recorded in accounting. By not indicating that you have actually bought these bags, the supermarkets are keeping it off the books so as to escape tax and make a killing from this ignorant customer.

The charge for these bags is simply a way for supermarkets to make a fast buck and easy pocket money.

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