In April, the Kenya Revenue Authority introduced a raft of new changes to the iTax system aimed at encouraging use of internet solutions for the tax filing. The new measures were sought to boost tax compliance and revenue collection. They include a single PIN number when submitting returns for PAYE, Excise and VAT. Users can also authenticate information such as Personal Identification Number (PIN) or Tax Compliance Certificate (TCC) hence distinguishing fake information from what is genuine. The iTax system was launched in October 2013.
The KRA is now reporting that the iTax system has been able to register 1.6 million users with the approximately 60,000 new taxpayers registering per month. In the month of May, the iTax system registered 200,000 users. The KRA is using the data acquired through the iTax system to design and implement effective compliance strategies. iTax has also been able to lower the time taken to make tax filings. Currently, the average time taken to file monthly VAT and PAYE returns stands at 67 and 72 minutes respectively. According to the World Bank’s Paying Taxes report, average time taken to comply with tax requirements is given as 202 hours per annum out of which 108 hours relates to VAT filing. This would translate into 9 hours per month for the average VAT . A remarkable fete by any standards.
iTax system was introduced seeking to achieve two goals with the first being making compliance with tax requirements easier, and secondly providing KRA with additional capability to detect non-filing or mis-filing, both practices being normally associated with tax evasion. KRA has set an ambitious goal of having 80% of those filing 2014 annual income tax returns do this through iTax.