Rispah Simiyu is the new Commissioner for Domestic Taxes at the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) taking over from Elizabeth Meyo, who had served in the position since the first quarter of 2019. Her new role will see her handle a department that accounts for about 65% of the taxman’s revenue collections. As a deputy commissioner, she was able to grow the dispute resolution profile from the settlement of a mere 90 disputes in 2018 to 284 disputes in 2020.
Having practised and consulted on tax matters in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, she is not new to tax regulation and is expected to do a good job. She joined the tax agency in 2018 as the deputy commissioner in charge of the tax dispute resolution docket. Prior to joining the agency, she was the regional tax manager (East Africa) at the Standard Chartered Bank Kenya where she was in charge of the wider Africa and Middle East regions. Before this, she worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), where she started her career back in 2001.
Besides being a chartered accountant, she is a Fellow Chartered and Certified Accountant (FCCA) and a Certified Public Secretary, a member of the Law Society of Kenya as well as an advocate of the High Court of Kenya. She holds a Master of Laws degree with focus on international trade and investment from the University of Nairobi, a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Dar es Salaam and a post-graduate Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law.
It is also interesting to note that Ms Simiyu has served as a member of the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) in the finance and audit committee. She was chairperson of the tax sub-committee whose duties were to train management and staff of KBA members on existing and emerging tax issues. With over 19 years as a tax expert she has a huge potential to steer the authority to higher heights.