The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has introduced online Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) sessions to avoid physical contact between interested parties.
KRA’s ADR sessions will now be held through virtual facilities. The taxman said in a statement on Tuesday.
The facilities bring together the taxpayer, the assessing commissioner and a facilitator who chairs the session as would happen in a face to face ADR session.
This means that taxpayers with disputes can still be heard and get solutions without physically attending ADR sessions.
The Deputy Commissioner for Tax Dispute Resolution Rispah Simiyu said, “KRA can now connect with taxpayers and their agents from the comfort of their offices or homes through video/teleconferencing technology applications such as Zoom, Skype or Google hangouts to ensure business continuity, whilst keeping the safety and security of these platforms in mind.”
KRA says the online session will be cos- effective and convenient to taxpayers as it covers a larger geographical area with the option of multiple individuals at different locations dialling in
“KRA has not been left behind in the use of technology as a business continuity model. We encourage parties with tax disputes to continue engaging virtually under the ADR framework,” added Ms. Simiyu.
ADR was rolled out in June 2015 to complement litigation by providing an amicable and timely settlement of tax disputes.
Since its roll-out, ADR has seen an increase in efficient and amicable settlement of disputes.
The 2018/2019 financial year saw the sharpest spike in ADR applications where 502 applications were received. Of the 502 applications received, 237 cases with a revenue yield of Ksh8.102 billion were resolved.
This was an improvement compared to the 2017/18 Financial Year where 90 cases were resolved with a revenue yield of Ksh3 billion. An analysis of the number of resolved cases in the two financial years indicates an increase of 147 cases, which translates into a 263 percent increment.
Apart from the number of cases, the resulting revenue implication has been equally enormous. A revenue increase from Ksh3 billion in 2017/2018 Financial Year to Ksh8.1 billion in 2018/2019 Financial Year was recorded.
The increase in the number of applications and resolution rate indicates that ADR is a tax dispute resolution mechanism that is gaining traction and provides an avenue for parties to explore resolution before moving to court.