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3.3 million file tax returns ahead of June 30 deadline

Taxpayers queue to file tax returns
Taxpayers queue to file tax returns at a Kenya Revenue Authority support centre in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

About 86 percent of Kenyans targeted by the taxman have filed tax returns ahead of the June 30 deadline, officials have said.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) deputy commissioner for policy and domestic taxes Caxton Masudi on Thursday said more than 3.3 million taxpayers had filed returns by June 24 against a target of 3.8 million taxpayers. This compares favourably with the 2.6 million people who filed within similar time last year.

The KRA has been processing more than 100,000 filings daily, it reported on Thursday.

The taxman estimates that daily filing will increase as the deadline nears. It has also extended working hours in the last-minute rush.

Huduma Centres across the country extended working hours effective June 15 from 8am to 5pm to serve those locked out by the initial short hour shifts.

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The centres will, however, remain closed on Saturday and Sundays.

The iTax support centres — which provide guidance to those making returns electronically — will open 7am to 5pm on Monday to Friday.

The KRA’s contact centres will also remain open Monday to Friday from 7am to 9pm while on Saturdays and Sundays they will be working from 9am to 4pm.

“KRA has also rolled out mobile phone services to facilitate filing of presumptive tax turnover tax, monthly rental income tax and Nil returns,” said Mr Masudi.

Through the filings, the taxman is able to net tax cheats as the agency struggles to meet collection targets that it has misssed in the recent years.

Under the Tax Procedures Act of 2015, KRA has powers to order employers to deduct the penalties and tax dues from worker’s salary.

Companies that fail to file returns face a penalty of Sh20,000 or five percent of the tax payable in the year or whichever is higher.

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