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Economy

Half of taxpayers fail to meet returns deadline

KRA official Judith Njagi assists taxpayers last month. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG
KRA official Judith Njagi assists taxpayers last month. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG  

Fifty per cent of the 4.8 million registered taxpayers — 2.4 million people — failed to meet Kenya Revenue Authority’s (KRA) June 30 deadline for filing returns, official data shows.

The number is higher than the 2.3 million Kenyans who breached the tax return filing deadline within the same period in the 2015 financial year.

According to the Tax Procedures Act 2015, failure to meet the deadline is an offence which attracts a Sh10,000 fine or 25 per cent of salaried workers’ tax bill, Sh5,000 in case of SMEs which are subject to turnover tax, and Sh20,000 or five per cent of tax liability on other business incomes.

“We intend to start de-activating individual and company pins that are not migrated to the iTax system,” said Judith Njagi, Chief Manager Taxpayer Services Nairobi Region.

Ms Njagi told the Business Daily in Nairobi that the move would compel non-compliant taxpayers to file their returns as blocked pins cannot transact any business until they are activated.

She said that the penalty for late filling of tax returns for those employed will amount to a penalty of 25 per cent of tax due or Sh10,000 depending on which is higher.

Tax Offences

The penalty is Sh50,000 for turnover tax which is paid on a quarterly basis, and any other case is five per cent of tax due or Sh20,000.

The penalties were enacted under the Tax Procedure Act number 29 of 2015 but KRA has not been implementing them.

For failure to submit a tax document as required by law, one will be charged Sh1,000 per day, maximum Sh50,000

Other unspecified tax return related offences will attract fines not exceeding Sh500,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or both.

To net more taxpayers ahead of the deadline, the taxman intensified awareness campaigns through mobile clinics.

Withholding tax on rental income was meant to facilitate collection of tax on rental income.

The appointed agents are required by law to withhold the tax and remit it to KRA via iTax by the 20th day of the following month.

The taxman also collaborates with employers to issue out P9 forms to facilitate workers file their returns.

“This was done through taxpayer visitations, letters and the KRA digital campaign Mkenya Mtrue,” Ms Njagi said.

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