New measures will make payment of tax refunds swift and hassle free
SEE ALSO :Kenya to gain from satellite dataFor a while now, processing of VAT refund claims has been taking long due to the numerous claims lodged by the taxpayers as well as the verification process. The process entails separation of genuine claims from manipulated claims to ensure that only the genuine ones are paid. Consequently, taxpayers have had to wait for the refunds longer than expected. To facilitate efficiency in VAT tax refunds, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has been working to ensure that business continuity is not affected in the process. For instance, in the just ended 2018-2019 financial year, KRA paid out VAT refund claims to the tune
of Sh14.2 billion. Going forward, KRA will be processing and paying out refund claims of even a higher value and at a faster rate, thanks to a raft of measures in the pipeline. A key step that will give KRA a substantial advantage is the simplification of the entire refund processing procedure. The simplified approach will be based on a green channel framework whose overall objective is to expedite the payment process of VAT refund claims from the low-risk sectors of the economy.
SEE ALSO :State moots conferencing agencyTaxpayers registered for VAT will experience efficiency from the revamped VAT refund claims framework as the verification process will now take a shorter time. The procedure will involve minimal verification processes which guarantees taxpayers expedited payment of their claims. Most importantly, as mentioned earlier, the green channel will go a long way in enhancing business cash flow predictability and planning, thus enabling businesses to proceed with their normal operations without any delays. Trade facilitation Apart from revenue mobilisation and collection, KRA’s mandate also extends to trade facilitation. The simplified VAT refund process is therefore a significant trade facilitation tool to ensure that business cash flows are not interrupted. The green channel framework is not only in line with KRA’s mission of building taxpayers’ trust through facilitation, but also conforms to the world’s best practice standards.
SEE ALSO :Kepsa initiative receives Sh154mSuch a standard is the requirement of the International Monetary Fund’s recommended Tax Administration Assessment Tool which demands processing of VAT refund claims without undue delay. Taxpayers set to benefit from the simplified green channel framework will be required to be tax compliant with no record of fraud related issues. The taxpayers will also be required to adhere to all the conditions governing the simplified framework as well as commit to improve their operations and standards. Apart from removing the bottlenecks affecting processing of refund claims, the green channel framework will go a long way in enhancing tax compliance levels for Kenya’s sustainable economic sovereignty. Ms Meyo is the Commissioner for Domestic Taxes Department, Kenya Revenue Authority
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