Kenya launches new changes to online tax payment

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-4-30 12:42:49

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) on Wednesday introduced a raft of new changes to the mobile tax payment solution, iTax system, in a bid to encourage online use for the tax filing so as to boost tax compliance and revenue collection.

KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini told journalists in Nairobi that they have introduced a single number for tax payers transacting online.

"The goal of the Authority is to simplify the process to ensure more Kenyans are tax compliant," said Njiraini, adding that taxpayers will now be required to use only their Personal Identification Number (PIN) when submitting returns for PAYE (pay as you earn), Excise and VAT.

"The iTax has enabled KRA to better understand taxpayer behavior, which is critical in designing and implementing effective compliance strategies that contribute to the sustainability of our taxation systems," he added.

iTax is one of the new reform initiatives that the KRA is undertaking in an effort to increase tax efficiency and compliance. It provides an integrated view of the tax payers and therefore better compliance of tax laws.

Njiraini said with the introduction of iTax system, taxpayers are able to authenticate information such as PIN or Tax Compliance Certificate (TCC), hence distinguishing fake information from what is genuine.

"There is a growing trends among corporate firms to trade with only tax complaint organizations. Having a tax complaint certificate today gives firms a competitive edge when competing for tenders to supply various goods and services," said Njiraini.

He said iTax has drastically reduced VAT and PAYE returns filing period to within 67 and 72 minutes respectively. iTax system is capable of providing instant feedback as an acknowledgement to transactions triggered by taxpayers.

Taxpayers are now able to file for refunds online, thus saving them the burden of making copies of manual documents to be submitted.

"KRA goal is to minimize taxpayer direct interaction with tax officials to ensure less discretion in deciding how to treat them. Through iTax, there's a promotion of equity, communication with taxpayers, preventive impact on corruption and bribery, and impediment on tax avoidance and tax evasion," Njiraini said, adding that the iTax system will lower corruption and bureaucracy by reducing face-to face interactions.

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