Doing things at the last minute has become part of our culture; it is inherently Kenyan to try beat a deadline, which often ends up being extended based on sheer masses that turn up on the last day of a given civic activity. In fact, I have lost count of the number of times the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has stretched deadlines for esteemed taxpayers to file their returns.
On this occasion, the taxman is urging Kenyans to upload their profiles on its iTax platform by August 31 else their Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) will be deleted.
“Taxpayers who have not filed any return for the last three months will be considered as not trading and their PINs rendered inactive,” says a notice posted by KRA.
KRA has been urging taxpayers to migrate their data to its online platform after it realized that some people have not transferred their profiles to iTax, or exist on iTax but fail to file taxes. Some businesses are even filing nil or no returns at all, coupled with millions (about 2.4 million as of June 2017) of people who do not file tax returns at all.
Once KRA realizes that you do not file returns, it will slap you with a KES 20,000 fine if you are business, KES 5,000 for SMEs or KES 10,000 for salaried employees according to the Tax Procedure Act 2015. This, it hopes, will motivate people to take the exercise seriously and file their returns. Also, deactivated PINs are a stopper to conducting business. At the same time, merging the online tax register with government payment systems has zeroed in on evaders that do business with the state.
These campaigns should enhance tax compliance and revenue collection that dropped by KES 66 billion based on KES 1.431 trillion that was collected by June 2016.