PwC: Kenya’s paying tax grows 3.3 percent

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich hiked penalties and interests for late filing to encourage compliance to the tax regimes. [Photo: Standard]
PricewaterhouseCoopers has said that Kenya’s paying tax went north by 3.3 percent from 69.01 percent in 2016 to 72.37 percent in 2019.

The tax report dubbed Paying Taxes 2019, shows that there was an improvement in paying taxes in 2019 in connection with Kenya Revenue Authority measures on tax payments.

The report states, “From December 5, 2017, Kenya’s time to comply improved from 185.5 hours to 179.5 hours representing a 3 percent improvement and the number of tax payments reduced from 26 to 25 marking a 4 percent improvement”.

PwC attributes the growth to Unified Business Permit by the Nairobi County Government and online tax paying system, iTax that reduced time for Kenyans filling their returns.

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KRA’s introduction of the online filing system has been a key assist to Kenya in terms of raising revenue with the global auditing firm asking the government to consider devolving payments for some of its services.

“The government could consider making filing and payment of National Social Security Fund (NSSF) electronic. This could help reduce the number of payments as well as the time taken to comply with paying taxes,” read the statement.

The Global Audit firm asked the government to consider reducing excise rates in relation with revenue raised.

“Subject to an appropriate assessment of the potential fiscal impact, the government could also consider reducing tax rates or eliminating some smaller taxes altogether, considering the costs of collecting the taxes relative to the amounts raised.”

The report however has criticized Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) for its bureaucratic tax administration regime.

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

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich 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.

PricewaterhouseCoopersKenyaPaying Taxes 2019taxKenya Revenue AuthorityiTax