KRA to accelerate tax administration reforms

Commissioner General John Njiraini said the KRA has already established a rapid results working group to spearhead the changes

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is set to accelerate on-going policy reforms to facilitate tax administration.

The commitment to accelerate policy reforms is part of KRA’s undertaking to boost the country’s ease of doing business scores next year.

Speaking when he addressed Senior Management staff at KRA, who were reviewing the latest World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs report, Commissioner General John Njiraini said the KRA has already established a rapid results working group to spearhead policy reforms.

“At KRA, we are impressed at the strides Kenya has made in the Doing Business 2018 report and
we have committed to accelerate reforms to help his advance further on the relevant
parameters,” Mr Njiraini assured.

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Against a target collection of Ksh 1.43 trillion last year, KRA successfully managed to collect Ksh 1.365 trillion, representing a 95.4% performance rate and a 13.8% growth.

In the latest World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs report, Kenya has been cited among countries that have made it easier to pay taxes. The report lists Kenya alongside Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, El Salvador, India, Indonesia, Lithuania, Maldives, Morocco, New Zealand, Philippines, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia as one of the 16
leading global economies that have introduced or enhanced systems for filing and paying taxes online.

Last year, the most common feature of reforms, the report says, focused on the implementation or enhancement of electronic filing and payment systems. Kenya was among 16 other economies which introduced or enhanced systems for filing and paying taxes online.

KRA has in recent years sustained a campaign to make paying taxes easier by implementing an online platform, iTax, for filing and paying corporate income tax and the standards levy. Last year, the iTax platform saw 5.73 million taxpayers registered on iTax compared to 4.2 million enrolled the previous year.

In addition to iTax, other key technology-driven revenue administration initiatives include the Integrated Customs Management System (iCMS), Cargo Scanner Management Solution, Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS) as well as the Excisable Goods Management System (EGMS), among others.

In this year’s report, Kenya was also cited for introducing or improving electronic submission and processing of documents for imports.

KRA has been undertaking comprehensive modernization of its revenue administration structures and systems including the strategic focus on customer facilitation rather than the traditional enforcement model.

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Through these reforms, KRA has joined the ranks of the modern revenue administrations which not only focus on revenue performance but also endeavour to attain operational efficiency, enhance compliance and improve service delivery.

“Due to improvements made to their respective electronic customs platforms, Cape Verde and Kenya both reduced import documentary compliance time by 24 hours. Brazil made trading across borders faster by enhancing its electronic system— integrating customs, tax and administrative agencies—reducing import documentary compliance time by 72 hours,” the Doing Business Report confirms.

According to a communiqué from the World Bank, governments in 119 economies including Kenya, carried out 264 business reforms in the past year to create jobs, attract investment and become more competitive.

Marking its 15th anniversary, the report notes that 3,188 business reforms have been carried out since it began monitoring the ease of doing business for domestic small and medium enterprises around the world.

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