Huduma Bill 2021 Amendment Seeks to Issue Huduma Namba to Newborns for Tax Reasons

huduma namba
Courtesy: The Standard

A few things have come up about the Huduma Bill, 2021.

First, is that there is a proposal that seeks to replace KRA Pins with Huduma Namba that will see the tax collector identify tax cheats.

Secondly, the amendment of the Huduma Bill, 2021, wants newborns to be enrolled in the biometric identification system so that the state can identify them when they turn 18. It will also see them file returns irrespective of their earnings status.  

All this information should be part of the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS), which also consists of the NIIMS database, Huduma Namba, and the Huduma Card.

According to the proposed amendment, every Kenyan resident shall be enrolled into NIIMs, and shall also have a Huduma Namba.

The revision adds that Huduma Namba will be assigned at birth, or upon enrolment. Parents should know that this registration exercise should be done within 90 days of birth, and it is compulsory. Late registrations will be met with a payment of a late registration penalty.

When the kid gets to the age of 6, then the parent will be asked to provide the necessary biometric data for the child to update their file in NIIMS.  

Kenyans who enroll in NIIMs are then issued with a Huduma Card. Minors will be issued with a Minor’s Huduma Card. Refugees and foreigners will also be issued their respective Huduma Cards.

A child shall be enrolled into NIIMs – (a) in case of a newborn, immediately after birth; or (b) in the case of any other child upon appearing before a NIIMS designated officer accompanied by a parent or a guardian and providing the particulars set out in the First Schedule.’ ­– reads part of the Huduma Bill, 2021.

Once a minor attains the age of 18, he or she shall be issued with a relevant adult’s Huduma Card.

Every resident individual who has enrolled into the NIIMS established under the Huduma Act shall by default be registered as a taxpayer upon attaining the age of 18.

On completion of initial enrollment of resident individuals under the Huduma Act, the Commissioner shall activate tax obligations of every individual above the age f 18 years not registered as a taxpayer.’ – reads the amendment.

Furthermore, the bill adds that every government agency that depends on foundational data of a resident individual to offer a public service may be linked to NIIMs in a manner that enables the agency to authenticate personal data and transmit/access/retrieve foundational data needed for the given function.

Data Protection

It should be remembered that the High Court of Kenya declared Huduma Namba registrations illegal because the exercise was incompatible with data protection laws.

However, the revision of the bill has also introduced data protection safeguards that were not mentioned in the proposal before.

Personal data collected under this Act shall be used solely to facilitate the objects of this Act. The Huduma Namba and any other biometric data collected under this Act shall not be published, displayed or publicly posted’ – reads the bill.