REVENUE COLLECTION

5.5 million taxpayers file their 2020 returns

The performance translates to about 90.1 per cent of the 6.1 million taxpayers in the taxman's database

In Summary
  • This means that 1.1 million more taxpayers turned out to file their returns this year, compared to the 4.4 million who filed their returns last year.
  • The growth in the numbers show positive progress in tax compliance, a move that is anticipated to further drive the country towards economic growth.
Kenyans on the queue at KRA Southern region offices in Mombasa to file their tax returns in this picture taken on 30 June 2021.
Kenyans on the queue at KRA Southern region offices in Mombasa to file their tax returns in this picture taken on 30 June 2021.
Image: Laban Walloga

More than 5.5 million taxpayers had filed their tax returns for the year 2020 as the filing period officially closed at midnight on June 30, 2021.

This means that 1.1 million more taxpayers turned out to file their returns this year, compared to the 4.4 million who filed their returns last year, reflecting a 19 per cent growth.

The performance translates to about 90.1 per cent of the 6.1 million taxpayers in the taxman's database.

The growth in the numbers shows positive progress in tax compliance, a move that is anticipated to further drive the country towards economic growth.

As has been the case in the previous years, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Tax Service Offices did not experience long queues during the last days of filing.

This is attributed to efficiency of the iTax platform, effective taxpayer sensitization on filing of returns and efficient taxpayer support services through the KRA Contact Centre and Tax Service Offices across the country as well as extension of working staff hours.

KRA has progressively enhanced the iTax system for a better user experience.

For instance, iTax has been enriched to include an auto-populated return for taxpayers with employment income as the only source of income.

Taxpayers in this category, whose annual tax returns constitute the bulk of all annual tax returns, are only required to fill in annual pension and tax relief details in the respective fields provided to complete the return process.

Currently there are about 6.1 million taxpayers who are registered on iTax.

KRA projects to increase the number of active taxpayers by 2 million, to 8.2 million by end of June 2023.

The taxman acknowledges and appreciates all taxpayers who turned up to file their annual tax returns.

Kenyans are urged to file returns early, beginning January of every calendar year, to avoid last minute rush that comes around on the June 30 deadline. 

Taxpayers have also been reminded that penalty for late filing of annual returns for Income Tax Individual is Sh2000 or five per cent of tax due whichever is higher.

For corporate entities, they face a penalty of five per cent  of tax that is due and unpaid under the return or Sh20,000, whichever is higher.

Filing tax returns is one of the taxman’s ways of netting tax cheats and growing the income tax segment, as it pushes to meet its tax obligation.

Returns are a key component of tax compliance which KRA considers in the issuance of a tax compliance certificate (TCC).

Kenyans who fail to file risk being blocked from applying for jobs, open bank accounts or registering land.

Companies, learning institutions and self-help groups that fail to comply also risk being locked out of government services that require PIN numbers.

Meanwhile, the taxman continues to upgrade its systems while simplifying tax modules in the country to make it easy for taxpayers to comply, mainly on paying their requisite taxes.