KRA called out on tax returns

A new report has criticised Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) for its bureaucratic tax administration regime.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the taxman gives companies 20 hours to correct income tax errors but takes one year and one month to review the correction.

Kenya scored 62 against an African average of 56 on post filling tax index of the PwC Paying Tax 2019 report.

“Challenges in Kenya’s tax regime include the automated assessments like the newly introduced Value Added Tax Auto Assessment (VAA), tax dispute resolution and extreme enforcement actions,” said the report released yesterday.

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This year, KRA introduced the VAT Auto Assessment (VAA) which compares VAT filling and receipts issued by a buyer and a seller.

The system has however come under criticism on its time limits and the fact that a buyer could be punished for VAT inconsistencies on the side of the seller.

KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini defended the new system, saying it is already nabbing cases where a seller and buyer file inconsistent returns and curbing claims of inputs from fake invoices.

“This facility provides KRA with a powerful tool for the detection of non-declared VAT from sales made by business people to their other business counterparts,” he said.

He said those caught in the dragnet had already been informed but added that KRA would listen to their concerns to avoid disrupting their businesses.

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“We have set up an elaborate framework to facilitate taxpayers who require support in resolving the queries related to this exercise,” said the KRA boss.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich also hiked penalties and interests for late filing to encourage compliance to the tax regimes. Since the inception of the online tax filing and tax payment platform (iTax) in 2014, a number of taxpayers have continued to embrace its use.

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Kenya Revenue AuthorityPwC Paying Tax 2019 reportTax returns