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April 1, 2020
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KRA roots for integration of county, national revenue systems as it leverages on technology

In Summary:

  • Counties urged to leverage on technology by integrating their revenue collection systems with those of other national government agencies
  • Under the theme of „Rethink, Remodel and Rebuild’, the third Annual Tax Summit sought to stimulate discussions that focus on profound and radical change that will steer tax administration in a new direction.
  • On top of linking the customs and domestic taxes systems, tax payment systems will also be linked to the government IFMIS plat
  • KRA has been at the forefront in transforming the country’s tax system with the goal of enhancing efficiency and tax compliance to achieve a friendlier and a more participatory tax regime
  • The organisation is in its final stages of installing a Customer Relationship Management System as this forms part of KRA’s service delivery model redesigning that places the customer at the fore front

By Irene Atieno

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has offered to work with counties in order to meet their revenue targets.  Speaking in Nairobi during the Annual Tax Summit, KRA Commissioner for Domestic Taxes Benson Korongo said the national tax agency has signed memoranda of understanding with a number of counties to collaborate on revenue mobilization.

Commissioner Korongo said the areas of collaboration include capacity building, optimization of revenue streams as well as smart enforcement support.

“Already, we have developed a training curriculum for county revenue staff, through the Kenya School of Revenue Administration,” he said.

Mr. Korongo urged counties to leverage on technology by integrating their revenue collection systems with those of other national government agencies.

“This will facilitate counter checking taxpayer profiles against information held in other databases,” he said.

KRA will further offer counties expertise in forecasting and determining alternative revenue streams. The nature of capacity building to be offered will be in both staff numbers and skills.

Under the theme of „Rethink, Remodel and Rebuild’, the third Annual Tax Summit sought to stimulate discussions that focus on profound and radical change that will steer tax administration in a new direction.

In his address at the summit, KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini said that leveraging on collaboration and technology to enhance revenue performance is “no longer a choice but a necessity”. He added that on top of linking the customs and domestic taxes systems, tax payment systems will also be linked to the government IFMIS platform.

Linking tax systems to IFMIS will ease issuance of tax compliance certificates and in turn facilitate businessmen to seamlessly apply for tenders at both national and county levels.

In a speech read on his behalf, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich acknowledged   the   need   for   broadening   the   tax   base   and   making   revenue administration more efficient.

“We need to ensure that revenue systems are interconnected in order to make use of the information in the systems. I believe this will go a long way in eliminating tax evasion and bringing each and every eligible taxpayer to the tax net,” he said

Leveraging on technology…

KRA is set to accelerate technology adoption in tax administration to boost compliance and improve effectiveness and efficiency. KRA emphasised on a more tax friendlier environment to spur compliance.

At the 3rd Annual Tax Summit 2017 the delegates who consisted of government officials, academia experts and regional revenue authorities representatives explored the administrative and operational challenges within the tax environment, challenges affecting growth of the tax base and cultural challenges that affect tax compliance.

Speaking during the event, KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini noted that KRA’s transformation journey shifted the KRA’s focus from enforcement to building taxpayer trust through facilitation.

“The Kenya Revenue Authority has been at the forefront in transforming the country’s tax system with the goal of enhancing efficiency and tax compliance to achieve a friendlier and a more participatory tax regime.” Mr. John Njiraini said. He added that: “This year’s summit is in line with KRA’s current strategic plan, which is overseeing a radical business model shift from compliance by enforcement approach to engaging taxpayers to ensure that KRA systems are more efficient secure and credible while exhibiting transparency and accountability.”

As part of the initiatives to transform the tax system, KRA will in April 2018 rollout the Integrated Customs Management System (iCMS) to seal loopholes in tax evasion. iCMS is a modern Customs management system. The new system will be a game changer in the Customs and Border Control Department. iCMS will foster faster clearance of cargo at the port, streamline Customs processes and enhance trade facilitation in Kenya and the entire East Africa Community (EAC) region.

KRA has been at the pole position in this crucial journey of transforming the tax system with the goal of enhancing efficiency. One of its key pillars is leveraging on technology for full electronic customer service. Through technology as its key driver, KRA has raised the bar in the ease of doing business by enhancing operational efficiency and service delivery. This is in line with best practice aimed to achieve high customer satisfaction levels.

KRA has also put in place a robust stakeholder engagement structure that allows for continuous dialogue on tax matters. The organisation is in its final stages of installing a Customer Relationship Management System as this forms part of KRA’s service delivery model redesigning that places the customer at the fore front. iSupport, an enterprise resource planning system has also been rolled out to enhance operational efficiency.

KRA Commissioner Strategy, Innovation and Risk Management, Dr. Mohammed Omar Mohammed noted that the 3rd Annual Tax Summit is the prime event to innovate ideas, engage in fruitful discussions and have better methodologies for enhancing the tax base.

“A participatory approach in our tax environment leads to a better and efficient tax administration. At KRA, we have embraced the need to have an integrated approach to advocate for a more stakeholder need driven tax environment. We have witnessed a gradual transformation of mind-set to that of a learning organisation.”

The tax summit aimed at strengthening relationships with stakeholders, demystify taxation and its role in socio-economic development of a country. It also aligned tax policies to emerging trends and innovations while creating a platform for sharing research outputs, experiences and knowledge on taxation.

The three-day annual tax summit ended on 1st December 2017 at the University of Nairobi’s Chandaria Auditorium. Other topics discussed included: revenue opportunities in the digital economy, combating illicit trade in excisable products and netting the informal and MSME sectors.

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