The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is targeting Kenyans in the diaspora as it moves to drive iTax uptake to 80% by December. KRA has partnered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to market iTax in foreign jurisdictions.
Speaking during a Diaspora conference in Nairobi, KRA’s Commissioner General John Njiraini said the partnership will entail training and sensitising taxpayers abroad on the new system. “One of the key initiatives of KRA is to facilitate trade and development by improving the trading environment. Ease of paying Taxes has been on one of the major challenges affecting Kenya’s Doing Business ranking. The iTax System gives taxpayers the luxury of filing returns from the comfort of their homes or offices at any hour of day or night,” said Mr Njiraini.
He said KRA had reviewed and simplified all tax returns and forms under the iTax System. Taxpayers can now apply for their PIN, Tax Compliance Certificates and file tax returns online through the system. KRA has also partnered with 28 commercial banks which facilitate all payments made through the iTax system gateway.
The partnership has drastically reduced the time taxpayers take to transact with KRA and has also hastened processing of related services among them issuance of tax compliance certificated, refunds amendments, waivers and tax exemptions. Automation of the electronic platforms has cut down total VAT payment time to 108 hours in 2015 from 214 hours in 2014. The target is to cut down further to 50 hours by 2016.
In 2014, the remittance inflows to Kenya exceeded 100 billion Shillings signifying the importance of the Diaspora community in supporting economic development.
Njiraini said the Authority is currently automating the department through development of a new Customs Management System (iCMS) expected to go live by June 2016. “The main objective is implementation of a robust system to integrate with other KRA business systems and to adopt modern technology that will incorporate all customs processes,” he concluded.