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KRA adds working hours ahead of tax returns deadline

 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 (KRA) has extended its working hours at Huduma Centres to weekends and 6pm on weekdays, ahead of the deadline for filing income tax returns this month.

Huduma Centres, which normally operate between 8am and 5pm, will from today open at 7.30am to 6pm to serve workers who were locked out by the initial eight-hour shift.

The centres will also open on Saturdays between 8am and 1pm in the race to have more workers and business owners file their income tax returns, which have emerged as an avenue to net tax cheats and grow the income tax segment as the KRA struggles to meet its collection targets.

The iTax Support Centres — which provide guidance to those making returns electronically — will open 7am to 9pm on weekdays and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays.

“The extension applies to all iTax related services in the 44 Huduma Centres and 24 iTax Support Centres countrywide,” the KRA said in a statement.

“Taxpayers are encouraged to visit the centres to avoid the Sh20,000 penalty that accrues when a taxpayer does not file their return,” added the taxman.

KRA, which has since gone digital in filing returns, encouraged taxpayers to take advantage of the time and location convenience brought about by the online filing of returns.

It has lately intensified outreach through its mobile tax clinics launched in Nairobi in April to enable as many people as possible beat the June 30 deadline.

Last year, the number of taxpayers registered on the online platform doubled to four million from July 2015’s figure of 1.6 million.

Most taxpayers wait until the last minute to file their returns with June 29, 2016, having registered the highest number of Kenyans on iTax as more than 128,000 filed returns on that day.

The taxman has also embarked on training Kenyans on how to file their tax returns online.

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