KRA way off target on eTIMS as deadline beckons

The taxman has a target of on-boarding 915,000 taxpayers, but has only managed about 187,000 according to latest data

In Summary
  • KRA says no business person or entity in the country is exempted from adopting eTIMS except from some few transactions.
  • They include payment of salaries, importation of goods and purchasing of airline passenger tickets.
The KRA headquarters at Times Tower in Nairobi
The KRA headquarters at Times Tower in Nairobi
Image: FILE

Kenya Revenue Authority has registered only 186,530 taxpayers on the digital invoicing and receipting platform, the electronic Tax Invoice Management System (eTIMS) out of its 915,000 target.

This is 80 per cent short, with the taxman concerned that most business might not meet the March 31 deadline, which could hamper their operations apart from attracting sanctions.

Speaking on Tuesday at a sensitisation forum with journalists in Nairobi, the taxman said non-compliance could do more harm to traders compared to the revenue loss to the taxman.

“Conducting trade with other complying entities will be constrained as the latter will demand for the required invoicing,” said Andrew Momanyi, a tax expert at KRA under eTIMS project.

He cautioned businesses not to fall prey to what he termed  'fake news' doing round that there is a capping value for the ones required to on-board on eTIMS.

“All persons and entities doing business in the country are to onboard. The only aspect where we have exemptions is the transaction bit,” Momanyi added.

The transactions include payment of salaries, importation of goods and purchasing of airline passenger tickets.

Accounting adjustments such as allowances and interest income transactions for financial institutions are also among the exempted transactions.

“Currently, there are no exemptions for any individual in business, unless a public gazettement is done after stakeholder engagements and agreements on the matter.”

On the newly targeted Jua Kali sector and sector and other small businesses segment, KRA said they have made progress by on-boarding close to 26,359 small businesses that are using the USSD and the web version linked to the e-citizen platform.

It is considering launching an application in coming weeks linked with e-citizen to propel the on-boarding of small business traders.

KRA is counting on the new system to collect additional Value Added Tax (VAT), with a target of over five trillion in the medium term.

This is said, could be realised by the system's accuracy in tax invoice declarations and reconciliation between filed returns and payments.

The eTIMS system launched last year was also set to incorporate a Supply Chain Module (SCM) to manage the taxpayer’s inventory thus providing visibility to taxpayer transactions from the point of acquisition to the point of sale increasing the compliance of taxpayers.

The new system also seeks to address issues of missing trader invoices and fictitious claims as all transactions will be visible to the taxman, thus increasing collections.

The version was set to complement the TIMS where businesses were expected to acquire internet-enabled tax registers (ETRs), which capture and send all real-time transactions to the taxman.

The new version roll out was as a result of taxpayers citing challenges in adopting TIMS due to the high cost of the ETRs, which ranged from between Sh35,000-40,000.


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