CAESAR'S DUES

KRA heightens checks on taxpayers as D-day for returns approaches

Filing of tax returns expected to pick up this week

In Summary
  • The taxpayer chosen for review under any of these processes is notified and given appropriate time to respond or facilitate the processes.
  • last year, KRA was forced to extended working hours to enable taxpayers file returns. 
The KRA headquarters at the Times Towers.
The KRA headquarters at the Times Towers.
Image: FILE

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is undertaking comprehensive compliance checks on all taxpayers ahead of the tax filing deadline for 2019/20 next Tuesday.

In a media statement, the taxman said the laws empower it to review tax returns for accuracy in the determination of taxes paid by each taxpayer.

''This may be done through returns review, comprehensive audits or investigations The outcome of which may include additional assessments or in the case of fraud; prosecution of the offenders,’’ KRA deputy commissioner, Marketing and Communication Grace Wandera said.

 

She added that any taxpayer chosen for review under any of these processes is notified and given appropriate time to respond or facilitate the processes.

According to the tax agency, the compliance checks may cover issues on Individual Income Tax (individuals or corporate companies), VAT, and Customs Duty, Excise Duty, Pay As You Earn, Withholding Tax, and other taxes administered by KRA.

‘’Therefore, KRA urges all taxpayers to provide the necessary support and corporate with the authorised officers during tax compliance checks,’’ Wandera said.

The statement comes a week to the deadline for filing tax returns filing for the financial year 2019/20 even as sources at the agency indicated there is a low compliance rate.

The officials told the Star in confidence that less than 50 per cent of registered taxpayers had filed returns by Friday.

''We expect a rush towards the start of next week (this week). It is perhaps a Kenyan thing to do things last minute. So far, less than half of taxpayers have complied, ‘the source said.

Last year, KRA was forced to extended working hours to enable taxpayers file returns. 

 

In 2018, the number of taxpayers who filed their tax return by midnight of June 30 deadline increased by 900,000 to more than 3.2 million as businesses and workers rushed to beat the Sh20,000 fine for non-compliance.

The fine has since dropped to Sh2,000 or five per cent of the annual tax payable for the preceding year, whichever is higher.

 Further, KRA is advising all taxpayers with outstanding tax liabilities and have not entered payment plans to do so, failure to which appropriate enforcement measures will be instituted to recover outstanding tax debt.

The affected taxpayers are advised to get in touch with a Tax Service Office in order to settle their tax debts or propose payment plans.

KRA encourages taxpayers to voluntarily disclose their true and accurate tax liabilities and consequently take advantage of their rights under the law to apply for relief on penalties and interest that is imposed on such unpaid taxes.

The taxman is pressed to meet a collection target of Sh1.6 trillion as set by Treasury even as all indications show that the target won't be manageable. 

According to Treasury, the taxman had an Sh132.3 billion shortfall in ordinary revenue collection was recorded in all broad categories by March,  with excise taxes recording a shortfall of Sh35.2 billion.