2 million Kenyans register for iTax
03 July 2015, 12:41
Nairobi - The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has reached a major milestone in its organisational transformation journey, as 2 million Kenyans signed up for iTax.
As at midnight Tuesday (June 30), the KRA had managed to register approximately 2 million iTax users heralding a new dawn in the use of information technology systems for tax administration.
The number is expected to go up as the tax returns filing deadline has now been extended until Sunday the 5th July.
Taxpayers who are yet to register on the platform will enjoy a penalty-free reprieve for returns that will be submitted before the new deadline.
By law, taxpayers who fail to submit their returns by Sunday face the risk of being surcharged a KES 1 000 and KES 10 000 minimum penalty for individuals and companies respectively, or 5 percent of the net tax due.
The new iTax platform by KRA is a secure system that was piloted two years ago and commissioned mid last year to provide a fully-integrated and automated solution for administration of domestic taxes.
Read Also: KRA extends tax return deadline to Sunday
From as low of 5 000 users in January 2013, the registration of 2 million plus iTax platform users has been rapidly undertaken within the last two months.
Speaking during a prime time Business TV show Thursday evening, KRA Commissioner General, John Njiraini said the rapid registration program focusing on a strict tax returns filing on the iTax platform had managed to net a daily average of 50 000 new users last month.
At the same time, an estimated more than 350 000 tax payers had also managed to file their annual tax returns with the number of iTax users expected to grow by more than 4 million by July next year.
“At KRA, we are encouraged by the iTax uptake which is one of our key transformation platforms as we strive to simplify and raise efficiency in tax administration,” Njiraini said.
And added: “The iTax platform rollout heralds a new dawn in tax administration and particularly as relates to tax returns filing efficiency. This is the first time in Kenya’s history that such a technology-based solution has been activated as part of the ongoing tax and revenue reform programs at KRA.”
Fresh from surpassing the KES 1 trillion Exchequer Revenue collection mark last month, NJiraini disclosed that KRA will be heavily banking on Information Technology systems to seal existing revenue collection loopholes.
Through such technology systems, the authority, is currently enhancing its capacity to implement tax modernization and revenue administration reforms which Njiraini said will cover the end to end digitization of revenue collection, enhanced taxpayer recruitment and education program, strategic tax audits and risk profiling.
He also disclosed that further efforts to adopt a simplified tax regime for the informal sector is underway.
“All these are measures designed to streamline tax administration systems, improve efficiency in tax collection and enhance taxpayer services while reducing the cost of compliance,” he reiterated.
To guarantee tax administration efficiency, KRA has migrated in entirety, a variety of its services to the iTax platform, including PIN registration, Tax Compliance Certificate application and issuance and the filing and processing of VAT refunds.
Electronic filing of tax returns and payment services are also available for all taxes, meaning that there no longer exists the need for any taxpayer to physically visit KRA or even bank to transact tax business.
In the run up to the now extended iTax filing deadline, KRA had been conducting hands on training and sensitization programmes through tax education programmes that have been running countrywide to support taxpayers to register on iTax.
KRA has also partnered with appointed licensed and trained intermediary agents who assist taxpayers to register and file their returns through the iTax system.
Currently, KRA has six support centers and a client service presence in 22 Huduma Centers countrywide. The iTax System provides an integrated view of a taxpayer. The system was rolled out in October 2013 in an effort to increase efficiency and ensure better compliance with tax laws.
The iTax system gives taxpayers the luxury of filing their returns or seek KRA services from the comfort of their homes or offices at any hour, day or night.
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