The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) netted 1.11 million additional active taxpayers in the year ended June 2019, raising the country’s tax base to 5.05 million.
KRA, which has largely underperformed on revenue targets set by the Treasury since 2013, has heavily relied on deployment of smart technological systems to expand the tax base to target seven million by June 2021.
Some of the IT systems the tax agency has heavily invested in include iTax, the online tax filing system, which is linked to bank accounts of firms doing business with the government through the public payment platform and the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS).
Others are the Integrated Customs Management System (iCMS) for real-time monitoring of goods entering the country through the Mombasa port and airports and Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) for transit cargo.
The agency also banked on the presumptive taxation regime, set at 15 per cent of the cost of business permit issued annually by the counties, for micro- and small-sized businesses from January 1 to bump up numbers in the tax net.
President Uhuru Kenyatta had on October 31, 2018 also directed the KRA to use the National Integrated Identity Management System – biometric data listing kit popularly known as Huduma Namba – which was rolled out in April to smoke out tax cheats.