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KRA to serve taxpayers on mobile phones

By Moses Omusolo | October 9th 2020

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has brought essential services to tax payers’ mobile phones in a bid to spur compliance.

The KRA M-Service App is expected to boost the taxman’s revenue collection efforts by simplifying access to services such as PIN registration and verification, filing of returns and payment of tax.

The application was commissioned on Monday during the launch of this year’s national Taxpayers Month held every early October to celebrate highly compliant Kenyans.

Themed “Enhancing tax administration for economic sustainability”, the fete also marked the 25th anniversary since KRA came into existence.

This as records show improved tax mobilisation efforts where during the 2019/2020 financial year, the taxman managed to raise up to Sh1.607 trillion.

Also planned to go online is the controversial legal-backed e-commerce tax also known as known as Digital Service Tax (DST).

“DST is intended to address the change in business models and expand the tax base and becomes effective from 1st January 2021 following its introduction through the Finance Act, 2020,” said KRA in a statement.

The tax, according to the law, is payable on income derived from or accrued in Kenya from service offered through a digital market place.

The law spells out that DST is payable at 1.5 per cent of the gross transaction value and is due at the time of transfer of payment for the goods or service to the provider.

KRA Deputy Commissioner for Policy and Tax Advisory Caxton Masudi said by making the tax payment process more convenient, the new approach is expected to widen taxpayer reach and increase revenue collection.

“The application will enable taxpayers to access KRA services on the go, subsequently enhancing compliance,” he said.

He noted that over 100,000 Kenyans have so far downloaded the App available on Google Play Store, adding that KRA is working with developers to make the app accessible on Apple Store by December this year.

Further, to enhance the user experience, KRA said it will progressively introduce new functionalities to the application’s English and Swahili versions including USDD communication with the Domestic Taxes Department.

"It will also be integrated with the Integrated Customs Management System (iCMS). This will enable importers and exporters to use their phones to perform customs processes such as Customs Entry Declaration Status and Passenger Declaration Form," said the taxman.    

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