The Kenya Revenue Authority today, 2nd October, unveiled the KRA online auction, effectively moving the public sale process to digital format. Previously a physical process, the online auction is part of KRA’s technological strategies aimed at streamlining tax administration procedures to enhance service delivery and improve revenue collection.
The launch follows a successful piloting of the online auction, through which KRA collected Ksh37.5 million. The process is expected to boost government efforts to decongest ports and ensure cargo is cleared in a timely and efficient manner.
Speaking during the Taxpayers’ Month launch at Customs House, Mombasa, KRA Commissioner General, Mr Humphrey Wattanga, said the online auction will ensure transparency of the bidding process. He noted that the negotiation process will be faster and accessible to registered taxpayers countrywide and globally.
The Commissioner General said during this year’s Taxpayers’ Month, KRA has lined up a myriad of activities aimed at giving back to the society and honouring compliant taxpayers. “In the spirit of giving back to taxpayers, we are calling on those who have accrued interests up to December 2022 to take advantage of our Tax Amnesty programme and pay up the principal taxes due, so that we can write off the penalties and interests accrued,” said Mr Wattanga.
He said that KRA is determined to enhance voluntary compliance among taxpayers and urged them to embrace the programme before it closes on 30th June, 2024. KRA is anticipated to collect approximately Ksh50 billion from the tax amnesty programme.
“All taxpayers are welcome to apply for waiver; those who did not file their returns and accrued penalties for non-filing, they automatically qualify, and should go ahead and file their returns,” Mr Wattanga said.
Speaking during the unveiling of the online auction, Cabinet Secretary, National Treasury And Economic Planning, Prof Njuguna Ndung’u, said besides being a means of giving back to the society, the Tax Amnesty programme is one of government’s fiscal policy measures aimed at cushioning Kenyans and strengthening economic resilience during the adverse domestic and external headwinds being experienced globally.
Prof Ndung’u said the government is cognizant of the current changing environment and will continue to support private businesses’ capacity to adapt through reforms. This will create business value for entrepreneurs to promote economic growth.
“Tax amnesties are projected to bring in additional revenue as taxpayers voluntarily report and pay taxes that may never be collected by the government. The amnesty programme is expected to improve tax compliance as tax administrations learn from taxpayers’ previous behaviours, thereby allowing them to plan better,” said the CS.
Mr Wattanga said that KRA will continue embracing technology in its quest to enhance tax compliance. Among the technologies that showcase this is the Electronic Tax Invoice Management System (eTIMS), rolled out in February 2023. A total of 95,732 VAT registered taxpayers had onboarded eTIMs by end of FY 2022/23. eTIMS has helped minimise VAT fraud and increased tax revenue.
Mr Wattanga said KRA has also integrated its systems with betting and gaming companies to streamlinine tax remittances from the sector and scale up revenue collection.
The programme has enabled KRA to make significant improvements in the sector’s tax administrative processes, with the daily visibility of the firms providing trends that inform compliance measures.
The Taxpayers’ Month is organised to celebrate compliant taxpayers, since tax compliance is a key foundation on which Kenya’s economic stability is anchored. The event honours the self-sacrifice of patriotic taxpayers and their contribution towards the country’s economic development.
This year’s Taxpayers’ Month theme is “Tunawiri” which plainly translates to “let us prosper”. The theme presents a uniting call to all Kenyans to fulfil their role in Kenya’s prosperity of Kenya through payment of taxes.