The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has launched the taxpayers’ month and Customer Service Week with resounding reassurance to serve taxpayers with better and more efficient service delivery.
This year’s theme being, Leaving no one Behind, the authority has encouraged utmost compliance and due diligence from Kenyans in order to realize the country’s tax projections.
Speaking at KRA Customs House, Mombasa, Southern Regional Coordinator Joseph Tanui said the objective of the authority is to create a close mutual relationship between taxpayers and KRA so that revenue collection and compliance is achieved, noting that taxes are the number one method in which the government generates revenue to run development programmes.
“The government depends heavily on the taxes Kenyans pay in order to carry out its development agenda. From setting up vital infrastructure, financing major development projects in key areas such as health and education, all rely on the input of Kenyans’ taxes to achieve these cross-sectional developmental goals,” said Tanui.
The Coast region contributes an estimated 30 percent of the total national collection which translates to about Sh492 billion against a target of Sh480 billion from customs and domestic taxes combined.
The authority notes that it managed to surpass its target last year and has in subsequent financial years met targets which is attributed to the cooperation between KRA, its staff who have been customer oriented in service and the taxpayers’ compliance.
The entry of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) into the East African Community (EAC) has widened the scope of trade in the region giving KRA new impetus to implement fresh and improved compliance mechanism that will ensure the country is at per with the evolving trends in transit of goods and cross border trade in general.
“For our transit goods, we have the electronic cargo tracking system which is not a Kenyan system but one for all the countries within the region to help monitor trade across the corridor, a digital system to view tracks on their journey within the region up to their destination,” added Tanui.
He notes that in the event the trucks in transit deviate from their prescribed route they flag them immediately and take the necessary enforcement action.
At the same time, the authority has put in place additional compliance and enforcement measures which include; increasing the number of seals from 8,000 to 14,400 for the transit trucks that have now been automated to curb loopholes which contributed to loss of revenue occasioned by manual allocation.
The authority has correspondingly unveiled a web-based television (TV) station dubbed, KRA TV.
The station is envisioned to enhance tax literacy in the country through dissemination of simplified tax and customs content, aimed at enhancing voluntary tax compliance and propelling the tax base in the country.
By Chari Suche and Andrew Hinga