Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has deployed 1,400 Revenue Service Assistants (RSA) who will be going door-to-door to ensure tax compliance. The RSA agents are part of the intrusive efforts by KRA to collect KES 3.03 trillion in revenue to finance the KES 3.6 trillion budget for the financial year 2023/24.
They are expected to play key tax mobilization roles in their door-to-door campaign visiting business premises. These include:
- Online registration of businesses
- Verifying taxpayer details
- Identifying traders who are not officially registered
- Ensuring traders issue tax receipts
- Onboarding Vendors onto eTIMS for VAT collection
Many months ago, tax collector KRA alerted the public and all VAT-registered taxpayers of the transitioning of VAT-registered taxpayers to the Tax Invoice Management System (eTIMS). The agents will seek to ensure every eligible business is on board.
Of the 1400 RSA, the bulk are expected to be dispatched in Nairobi county. However, businesses across the country will come under scrutiny. Thus, its advisable to check on your books and keep your tax records updated.
Kenyans will be able to verify the KRA staff before engaging them. One can verify through *572# or the KRA website.
Intrusive efforts by KRA do not end with the agents. Treasury proposes the Data Protection Act of 2019 be amended to give special exemption to KRA. The proposed exemptions will enable KRA to have easier access to data and information from third parties like telcos and banks.
Hence, KRA will monitor transactions on mobile merchant accounts such as Safaricom’s Lipa Na M-Pesa in real-time after linking its platform with that of telcos. This move replicates the successes of a similar integration with betting companies in catching tax evaders.
RSA Agents Have Undergone Military Training
In May this year, KRA advertised for the position of Revenue Service Assistant. The advertised requirements were a KCSE/IGSE certificate with a minimum grade of C–, a valid Certificate of Good Conduct. In addition, one had to have a KRA PIN Certificate, NHIF, NSSF, and a national ID card.
The agents are expected to earn a gross salary of KES 53,500 subject to applicable statutory deduction.
The RSA agents underwent training at a military school. Recently, they graduated from the Kenya Defence Force (KDF) Recruits Training School in Eldoret. Kenya School of Revenue Administration (KESRA) also delivered training. JESRA handled all tax, customs and KRA related training.
The program for the agents is said to cost KRA KES 1.2 billion. The authority has also reintroduced the Graduate Trainee (GT) program.
All these are efforts geared towards revenue mobilization.