The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has unveiled plans to identify workers and businessmen who defaulted in filing their tax returns with a view to sanctioning them appropriately and also boosting revenue collections.
According to a news report by Nwakilishi.com, the Treasury has threatened that any defaulter caught may pay up to Sh20,000 fine.
The Treasury indicated that the new drive to use tax collectors to hunt for workers and business people who failed to declare their income to the government was aimed at reaching the authority’s revenue target.
The news medium reported further that tax collected in the first five months to November last year was below target by Sh29.7 billion, a development that was attributed mainly to reduced economic activity as a result of extended electioneering period and drought that hit the agricultural sector.
The Treasury stated: “The Government is going to undertake a combination of policy and administrative reforms to bolster revenue yields going forward. Some of the reforms include… expansion of tax base by targeting informal sector, betting lotteries and Gaming and pursue non-filers.”
KRA reported that only 2.4 million workers and businesses filed their tax returns by end of June deadline. The agency has also commenced plans to review data from the platform that connects the government payment system to the online tax register, iTax, in a bid to identify the tax fraudsters.
According to the revenue authority, other measures being planned to enhance the efficiency of the country’s tax administration include data matching and use of third-party data to enhance compliance by integration of iTax with IFMIS.
Recall that in 2015, the revenue agency raised the penalty for failure to file returns from Sh1,000 to Sh20,000, but the increased fines only became effective from last year.