The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has called on taxpayers to pay their taxes, especially through digital methods ahead of the deadline for annual returns filing on June 30, 2021.
The call comes in the midst of a pandemic that has seen individuals and corporates work from home, minimizing physical office presence. Cognizant of the Covid-19 regulations, KRA has implemented technology that will enhance taxpayer experience during the filing season. Taxpayers are encouraged to download the M-Service App on their phones and maximize the use of i-Tax whose user experience has been amplified.
The M-Service App enables taxpayers to access various services offered by the Authority that include taxpayer registration, filing of returns, and payment of taxes. Further, KRA urged all the taxpayers to file their tax returns in a process that kicked off on January 1, 2021, and is due by the end of the country’s financial year.
The Authority encourages taxpayers to take advantage of the opportunities available to pay the various taxes that include PAYE, VAT, Customs Duties, among others; a move that encourages compliance and plays a key role towards stopping tax evasion, which is one of the corrupt ways of deriving the government of its revenue.
Filing tax returns, especially PAYE, ensures that KRA aligns the returns submitted by your employer with your individual i-tax returns. This helps in tax computation since some employers deduct taxes from individuals but they do not remit it to KRA.
Several avenues of sealing loopholes in tax evasion and ensuring compliance, through tax base expansion have been created by KRA. One of these avenues is the Digital Service Tax (DST), a tax that is payable on income derived or accrued in Kenya from services offered through a digital marketplace introduced through the Finance Act 2020.
DST is payable by both residents and non-residents who derive or earn income in Kenya through the provision of services on the digital marketplace. The tax also targets overseas companies dominating the digital marketplace.
The voluntary Tax Disclosure Program, is another initiative, by KRA, targeting taxpayers who did not earlier disclose their tax liabilities. So far KRA has collected KShs. 300 Million from the program, which provides a waiver on penalties for the taxes paid.
Taxpayers are encouraged to always pay their taxes, which helps the government fund public amenities and infrastructure which include hospitals, roads, markets, and schools.