Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has unveiled the online auction. The auction, which was previously a physical process, is part of KRA’s technological strategies aimed at streamlining tax administration procedures to enhance service delivery and improve revenue collection.
The unveiling follows a successful piloting of the online auction, through which KRA collected Kshs 37.5 million. The process will boost government efforts to decongest ports and ensure cargo is cleared in a timely and efficient manner.
Speaking during the Taxpayers’ Month Launch at Customs House, Mombasa, KRA Commissioner General Mr. Humphrey Wattanga said the online auction will allow taxpayers to appreciate the transparency of the bidding process. He noted that the negotiation process will be faster and accessible to registered taxpayers countrywide and globally.
The Commissioner General said during this year’s Taxpayers’ Month, KRA has lined up a myriad of activities aimed at giving back to society and honoring compliant taxpayers.
“In the spirit of giving back to taxpayers, we are calling on those who have accrued interests up to December 2022 to take advantage of our Tax Amnesty program and pay up the principal taxes due, so that we can write off the penalties and interests accrued.” Said Mr Wattanga.
He said that KRA is constantly determined to enhance voluntary compliance among taxpayers and urged taxpayers to embrace the program before it closes on 30 June 2024.
“All taxpayers are welcome to apply for waiver; for those who did not file their returns and accrued penalties for non-filing, they automatically qualify, and should go ahead and file their returns.” KRA is anticipated to collect approximately Kshs. 50 billion from the tax amnesty program.
Speaking during the unveiling of the online auction, Cabinet Secretary, National Treasury, And Economic Planning, Prof Njuguna Ndung’u, CBS said besides being a means of giving back to the society, the Tax Amnesty program is one of the government’s fiscal policy measures aimed at cushioning Kenyans and strengthening economic resilience during the adverse domestic and external headwinds being experienced globally.
The CS said that the Government is cognizant of the current changing environment and will continue to support private businesses’ capacity to adapt through reforms. This will create business value for entrepreneurs to promote economic growth.
“Tax amnesties are projected to bring in additional revenue as taxpayers voluntarily report and pay taxes that may never be collected by the Government. The amnesty program is expected to improve tax compliance as tax administrations learn from taxpayers’ previous behaviors, thereby allowing them to plan better.” Said the CS.
Mr Wattanga said that KRA will continue embracing technology in its quest to enhance tax compliance. He said the taxman has embraced a collaborative business model that incorporates taxpayers’ feedback. Among the technologies that showcase this is the Electronic Tax Invoice Management System (eTIMS), rolled out in February 2023. A total of 95,732 VAT-registered taxpayers had onboarded eTIMs by the end of FY 2022/23. IMS has helped minimize VAT fraud and increased tax revenue.
Mr Wattanga said that KRA has also integrated its systems with betting and gaming companies, intending to streamline tax remittances from the sector and scale up revenue collection. The program has enabled KRA to make significant improvements in the sector’s tax administrative processes, with the daily visibility of the firms providing trends that inform compliance measures.
The Taxpayers’ Month is organized customarily to celebrate compliant taxpayers since tax compliance is a key foundation on which our country’s economic stability is anchored. The event is meant to honor the self-sacrifice of patriotic taxpayers and their contribution towards the country’s economic development. This year’s Taxpayers’ Month theme is “Tunawiri” which translates to “Let us prosper”. The theme presents a uniting call to all Kenyans to fulfill their role in the prosperity of Kenya through the payment of taxes.