Revelation that Kenya has run out of the new internet-enabled electronic tax registers (ETRs) does not bode well for the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
The law requires all businesses with an annual turnover of at least Sh5 million to have ETRs connected to the taxman’s systems for monitoring daily sales, escalating the war on tax cheats.
This was a noble move mooted nearly two years ago, offering the KRA and traders ample time to plan for the availability and installation of the gadgets.
It is inconceivable that there was little care to ensure the new tax registers were available ahead of the July 31 deadline. The buck stops with the KRA given it had offered assurances that the gadgets were in plenty
The taxman tapped and mandated 16 suppliers to supply the crucial gadgets.
Therefore, the KRA should have policed the firms to ensure the digital ETRs are available and sufficient for the market. It is crucial for the taxman to seal revenue leaks and boost State coffers in the race to reduce reliance on public debt.
The ETRs are vital in ensuring small traders don’t cheat on their taxes, and the KRA must ensure the gadgets are available.