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4.4 million Kenyans file returns ahead of deadline

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4.4 million Kenyans file tax returns ahead of deadline

Friday June 23 2023

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) staff assist Kenyans to file tax returns at Kamukunji Grounds in Bondeni estate, Nakuru on June 1, 2023. PHOTO | BONIFACE MWANGI | NMG

About 73 percent of Kenyans targeted by the taxman have filed tax returns ahead of the June 30 deadline, data from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) shows.

The KRA data released Thursday shows that more than 4.4 million taxpayers had filed returns by June 20 against a target of six million taxpayers.

The taxman says it has been processing more than 120,000 filings daily and estimates that daily filing will increase to 500,000 as the deadline nears.

“4.41 million taxpayers have filed their returns representing a 15 percent growth compared to the same period in 2022. This includes individual and non-individual taxpayers as well as resident and non-resident taxpayers,” said the taxman Thursday.

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

Individual taxpayers such as employees are currently fined Sh2,000 or five percent of the annual tax payable for the preceding year, whichever is higher.

Companies, on the other hand, face a penalty of Sh20,000 or five percent of the tax payable in the year the return is meant to capture, or whichever is higher.

The taxman has failed to meet revenue targets in recent years on tax defaulters and a small tax bracket that does not include majority of the self-employed and those working in the informal sector.

Read: Penalty for wealthy tax cheats to rise 167 percent

KRA missed its revenue collection targets by Sh27 billion in three months to December amid President William Ruto’s aggressive push to weed out tax evaders and boost receipts.

Tax collections from five major streams—payroll, corporation, VAT, excise and import duty — in the three months to December amounted to Sh466.46 billion against a target of Sh493.11 billion.

Other revenues including investment, fines, levies and forfeitures trailed its target by Sh6.16 billion with a collection of Sh33.10 billion in the quarter.

The Treasury plans to increase tax collection by Sh274.1 billion, or 14.29 percent, to Sh2.19 trillion in the current fiscal year ending June and cut borrowing.

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