The Kenya Revenue Authority has launched an online auction platform aimed at streamlining tax administration procedures to enhance service delivery and improve revenue collection.
The auction, which was previously a physical process, is part of KRA’s technological strategies after the authority collected Sh37.5 million during piloting.
Speaking at the launch in Mombasa Custom House, Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Economic Planning, Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u, said that the platform would boost government efforts to decongest ports and ensure cargo is cleared in a timely and efficient manner.
The CS said that it would also bring about the aspect of transparency, where clients would be able to see and be part of the process of price discovery, which is very important during auctions.
He said the tax amnesty programme 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.
He noted that the programme that would be undertaken by KRA would be a means of the authority giving back to society.
Prof. Ndung’u said that the government is cognizant of the current changing environment and will continue to support private businesses’ capacity to adapt through reforms.
He said the support would create business value for entrepreneurs and 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 programme is expected to improve tax compliance as tax administrations learn from taxpayers’ previous behaviours, thereby allowing them to plan better,” he said.
In his remarks, Mombasa KRA Commissioner General Humphrey Wattanga said the online auction would give taxpayers the opportunity to appreciate the transparency of the bidding process.
He noted that the negotiation process would be faster and more accessible to registered taxpayers countrywide and globally.
Wattanga said during this year’s taxpayers’ month, the authority has lined up a myriad of activities aimed at giving back to society and honouring 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 programme and pay up the principal taxes due so that we can write off the penalties and interests accrued,” he said.
He said that KRA is constantly determined to enhance voluntary compliance among taxpayers and urged taxpayers to embrace the programme before it closes on June 30, 2024.
“All taxpayers are welcome to apply for a 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,” he added.
The authority is anticipated to collect approximately Sh50 billion from the tax amnesty programme.
Wattanga said KRA would continue embracing technology in its quest to enhance tax compliance.
He said the taxman has embraced a collaborative business model which 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 on-boarded eTIMS by the end of the financial year 2022-2023. The system has helped minimise VAT fraud and increased tax revenue,” he said.
He added that the authority has also integrated its systems with betting and gaming companies, with the aim of streamlining tax remittances from the sector and scaling up revenue collection.
He said the programme 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.
Wattanga said that taxpayers’ month is organised customarily to celebrate compliant taxpayers, since tax compliance is a key foundation on which the country’s economic stability is anchored.
“The event is meant to honour the self-sacrifice of patriotic taxpayers and their contribution towards the country’s economic development. This year’s taxpayers’ month theme is “Tunawiri” which plainly translates to “let us prosper.” The theme presents a uniting call to all Kenyans to fulfil their role in the prosperity of this country through the payment of taxes,” he said.
Source: Kenya News