Have you filed your tax returns? Did you know that it is your duty to do so under section 52B of Income Tax Act? Every financial year, many Kenyans become victims of the tax man’s wrath for failure of filing their returns. Failure to file returns, including nil returns for those who did not earn taxable income during the year, now attracts a fine of Ksh 20,000 up from Ksh 1,000 with effect from June 30, 2017. The same applies to late filing i.e submissions made after June 30. That is enough money for monthly shopping in a mid-sized family.
Most of the victims are people who wait up to the last moment only to find the system jammed, forget the importance of filing tax returns or do not have an idea that they need to file their returns perhaps because they only went for the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) PIN upon request by individuals, money lending institutions, including the Higher Education Loans Board, or for purposes of applying for the rural electrification programme.
Some people think KRA will never catch up with them but the fact is you cannot be issued with a tax compliant certificate, which is critical to access tenders or employment in the public service until you clear your penalties.
So bad, but what will you do if you find out that you owe KRA over Ksh 300,000 yet you are not employed ? Well, the tax man is sometimes not as brutal as you may think. This money can be waived.
Here is how to apply for waiver of KRA’s penalties and interest using the iTax system:
First, make sure you remember well the mail address you used during registration. This will help you retrieve your KRA PIN and password in case you forgot it.
Visit the official KRA website using the link www.itax.kra.go.ke
Enter your KRA PIN number into the PIN box and click on Continue. Enter your KRA PIN password and key in the summation of the security stamp and click on Login (Be keen to enter the right password i.e don’t use lowercase if it is a uppercase letter).
After login, you will see the menu label Debts and Enforcement. Click it once. It will reveal the Apply for Waiver for Penalties and Interests menu item. Click on it to enter the details required.
Click on the Apply for Waiver for Penalties and Interests, under the page Choose Applicant Type as Taxpayer, and select Tax Obligation e.g. Income Tax Individual or VAT, then select Type such as penalty or interest or both.
You will the need to choose each year that a waiver exists and enter the value you wish to request for waiver and finally click on Submit.
If you find this method cumbersome, you can physically visit any nearest KRA office and request for the same.