Opinion & Analysis

EDITORIAL: Tax filing move laudable

 Taxpayers at the KRA support centre in Nairobi on June 30, 2016, the deadline for submitting tax returns. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG
Taxpayers at the KRA support centre in Nairobi on June 30, 2016, the deadline for submitting tax returns. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG 

The Kenya Revenue Authority’s (KRA) decision to extend working hours at Huduma centres across the country in order to afford taxpayers more time to file income tax returns is laudable.

Such a move should go a long way in reducing the stampede and crowding that has characterized the filing of the said returns every year.

Most importantly, the extension, which will see the centres open at 7:30 am and close at 6 pm as well as half-day Saturday, should come in handy for thousands of formal sector employees who must be at their working stations during the weekdays, but are expected to file returns during the same hours.

Although this may not translate to a major change in the way the taxman collects his dues, it is such small creative steps that incrementally add up to make a significant difference in the long term.

It will help if KRA backed up such initiatives with the establishment of processes that make the filing of returns as painless as possible. While technology has radically transformed the way taxes are paid, it is worth nothing that not every taxpayer is techno-savvy.

Some are just put off by the new system even when they want to comply with this crucial responsibility.

The iTax Support Centres therefore have to be responsive to the needs and challenges of such Kenyans and guide them to easily navigate the intricacies of technology in order to meet their obligations.