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Automation to help KRA net cheats

NEWS
By Wainaina Wambu | July 10th 2020

KRA boss James Mburu. [David Njaaga,Standard]

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has enhanced automation of its systems aimed at raising revenue collection and sealing corruption loopholes.

The taxman targets to collect Sh1.6 trillion this financial year, with Commissioner-General James Mburu saying automation would support efforts to increase the tax base.

This includes tapping into the digital economy that has grown as a result of Covid-19.

“Integration with other critical information databases will facilitate follow up of the money and hence bring to taxes income that may not have been declared,” he said.

Mr Mburu said the space for tax evasion had narrowed down with the increased use of technology. For instance, KRA has deployed over 12,000 electronic seals for regional cargo tracking to address the dumping of transit cargo.

The strategy will reduce human interactions blamed for among others, graft and low revenue collection. This will be complemented by recruitment of close to 1,000 new revenue officers to enhance operations. There are also plans to implement an online corruption reporting system targeted at staff at the agency.

This comes at a time when some staff at KRA have been fired or prosecuted due to corruption and unexplained wealth.

Over 15 staff members have been sacked for failing to meet revenue targets.

KRA got an additional Sh10 billion budget allocation to enable it fight against tax cheats, allowing it to acquire equipment and hire more staff, especially enforcement and compliance workers.

KRA has also started collecting revenue on behalf of county governments, which will open another revenue stream for the agency.

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