By Judith Gicobi
By the end of the year, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) wants to add one million new taxpayers.
According to the taxman, 6.5 million people had signed up for its iTax system by the time tax reports were due on June 30.
With 90% of taxes collected coming from voluntary compliance, KRA is relying on improved taxpayer involvement to improve tax compliance.
“We started our journey moving from 4.5 to 6.5 million and we are looking forward to about 7.5 million this year,” KRA Commissioner General Githii Mburu said.
However, the taxman claims that it has welcomed recent conversations by the new administration on how to make KRA more “humane” to the predicament faced by taxpayers in financial difficulty.
This comes in response to criticism of KRA’s economic position, which many have referred to as “playing undertaker.”
“We are in agreement fully with the new administration that taxes must be collected and taxes must be paid by all Kenyans. We have further agreed that for those Kenyans experiencing difficulty, we must adopt a different approach of empathising and walking with them,” Githii added.
“The transformation of KRA from an authority to a service is being driven by the new government. It is a good policy initiative which we support knowing that every citizen has an obligation to pay taxes,” said KRA Board Chairperson Amb. Francis Muthaura.
KRA is relying on increased tax compliance through taxpayer education.
The taxman is also anticipated to approach taxpayers facing financial difficulties more amicably and come up with settlement arrangements for outstanding tax debts.
Between two and three percent of non-compliant/”can’t pay won’t pay taxpayers,” according to KRA, will be brought into conformity.