KRA simplifies tax compliance processes

Counties Editor's Pick Nairobi

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has unveiled a mobile application as part of its efforts to simplify and enable taxpayers to conveniently access tax services.

During the launch of 2020 Taxpayers Month held on Monday, KRA officially unveiled the mobile application branded KRA M-Service App, which will enhance taxpayers’ compliance by simplifying access to services such as PIN registration and verification, filing of returns and payment of tax.

This is part of KRA’s aggressive tax compliance strategy to ensure that all eligible taxpayers pay their fair share of taxes.

“The Application will enable taxpayers to access KRA services on the go, subsequently enhancing compliance,” said KRA Deputy Commissioner Policy and Tax Advisory Domestic Taxes Department Caxton Masudi.

Mr Masudi said that over 100,000 Kenyans have so far downloaded the App.

To access and use the App, Mr Masudi explained that taxpayers with smart mobile phones should download and install the App from Google Play Store.

He noted that KRA is working with the developers to have the App verified and available on App Store by December 2020.

The system will widen taxpayer reach, increase revenue collection and enhance tax compliance by making tax payment process more convenient. It will also reduce the cost of compliance.

To enhance the user experience, KRA will progressively introduce new functionalities to the App, including the Swahili version of the App; USDD development; USDD version with Domestic Taxes Department service. It will also be integrated with the Integrated Customs Management System (iCMS). This will enable importers and exporters to use their phones to perform Customs processes such as Customs Entry Declaration Status and Passenger Declaration Form.

In another development, the newly introduced e-commerce tax obligation-Digital Service Tax (DST), is set to expand the tax base and ensure eligible taxpayers pay their rightful share of taxes. DST is intended to address the change in business models and expand the tax base and becomes effective from 1st January 2021, following its introduction through the Finance Act, 2020.

The tax, according to the Finance Act 2020, is payable on income derived from or accrued in Kenya from service offered through a digital market place. The digital market place comprises online electronic that enables direct interactions between sellers and buyers of goods and services.

The Finance Act 2020 further states that DST is payable at 1.5 per cent of the gross transaction value and is due at the time of transfer of payment for the goods or service to the provider.

To celebrate the continued dedication of compliant taxpayers, KRA has over the years dedicated the month of October to honour and appreciate all taxpayers for their invaluable contribution to the government’s revenue that reached a new record of Sh. 1.607 Trillion in FY 2019/2020 in spite of the difficult operating economic environment brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s Taxpayers Month is themed “Enhancing tax administration for economic sustainability”. The celebrations are special as KRA is also marking its Twenty Fifth (25th) Anniversary since the Authority was organised. The event will be culminated with a Taxpayers Award Ceremony that will be hosted by His Excellence President Uhuru Kenyatta on 6th November, 2020.

By Joseph Ng’ang’a

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