By Mwakwaya Raymond
Kenya Revenue Authority has disclosed that Coast region contributed about Ksh.492 Billion way ahead from the set target of Ksh 480 Billion in the 2021 – 2022 financial year both customs and domestic taxes which translates to 30 percent of the total national collection.
The Authority further announced that the surplus is as a result of the good will of its employees and cooperation with the customers in tax compliance saying Kenya Ports Authority is the highest tax payer in the region.
That’s according to the Southern Regional Coordinator Joseph Tanui who was speaking at KRA Customs House Mombasa, during the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) taxpayers’ month and Customer Service Week where he assured taxpayers of better and more efficient service delivery.
‘We used to take an average of 21 days to move consignments from the port of Mombasa to Kampala before the implementation of the RECTS system, now it takes 4 to5 days which is a great reduction on cost doing business for all our stakeholders” added Tanu
However, he said KRA generally cannot attain the 6.8 trillion mark as set by the government citing a number of issues one being the low number of tax payers in the country paying about 2.1 Trillion
‘The Authority intends to create a close mutual relationship between taxpayers and KRA so that revenue collection and compliance is achieved” He said
He said soon KRA will open up several offices within the Coastal towns to enhance Revenue collection.
‘we do not have KRA office in Tana River and we intend to open one soon, deploy more officers to Kilifi office as well so as to enable tax payers effectively pay taxes, We also intend to expand our services both in Kwale and Diani towns as well as Taru” he added
He urged tax payers to comply in payment of taxes adding that the government’s Revenues depends on the taxes collected by KRA so as to finance its development programs.
“The government depends heavily on the taxes Kenyans pay in order to carry out its development agenda. From setting up vital infrastructure, financing major development projects in key areas such as health and education, all rely on the input of Kenyans’ taxes to achieve these cross-sectional developmental goals,” said Tanui.
The theme for this year is, Leaving no one Behind, the authority has encouraged utmost compliance and due diligence from Kenyans in order to realize the country’s tax projections.
The entry of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) into the East African Community (EAC) has widened the scope of trade in the region giving KRA new impetus to implement fresh and improved compliance mechanism.
“we have the electronic cargo tracking system which help monitor trade across the corridor, a digital system to view tracks on their journey within the region up to their destination thus for our transit goods,” added Tanui.,
He notes that in the event the trucks in transit deviate from their prescribed route they flag them immediately and take the necessary enforcement action.
At the same time, the authority has put in place additional compliance and enforcement measures which include; increasing the number of seals from 8,000 to 14,400 for the transit trucks that have now been automated to curb loopholes which contributed to loss of revenue occasioned by manual allocation.
The authority has correspondingly unveiled a web-based television (TV) station dubbed, KRA TV.
The station is envisioned to enhance tax literacy in the country through dissemination of simplified tax and customs content, aimed at enhancing voluntary tax compliance and propelling the tax base in the country.