On 22nd June 2021, the press release circulated indicating that the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) had issued revised electronic tax register specifications. The unsigned document reported that KRA had in a public notice dated 22/06/2021 informed all authorized manufacturers and suppliers of fiscal ETR devices to ensure all ETR devices can automatically send all sales information into the KRA iTax system through a special server known as “Tax Invoice Management System, TIMS.”

It says the revised ETR technical specifications are accessible on the KRA website. It further reported that the model is expected to streamline VAT revenue collection in two ways. First, it would give KRA actionable information against tax cheats as TIMS requires all ETR machines to send the taxman the name of the seller, address of the seller, PIN of the seller, the name of buyer, PIN of buyer, nature of the supply, time and date of the supply, the amount involved, VAT charged and the total amount due.

“Second, the rollout will enable automated population to the taxpayers VAT returns hence reducing filing errors, save time and complexity, making it easier for business people to file their own VAT returns without the need of an intermediary tax agent,” the document reports.

A day later, however, the Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya’s tax collection agency, flagged the press release as FAKE and warned the public against its content.

VERDICT: The press release announcing new ETR specification has been disowned by KRA and is thus FAKE NEWS.

[ This story was produced by Business Today in partnership with Code for Africa’s iLAB data journalism programme, with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie ]

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