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    KRA Tightens Screws to Catch Kenyans Filing False Returns


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  • The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has moved to tighten screws aimed at capturing and punishing Kenyans who file incorrect or incomplete information in their returns.

    The proposed drastic measures are captured in the Finance Bill that is before Parliament. The proposed law is set to review a number of taxation laws and curb fraud and tax avoidance cases.

    If passed, taxpayers will be liable to a Ksh 100,000 fine for every wrong filing they make to KRA. 

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    “A person who makes a false statement or omits any information required to be included in an information return under 6B shall be liable to a penalty of Ksh 100,000 for each such false statement or omission to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years,” says the bill.

    Times Towers in Nairobi which houses Kenya Revenue Authority’s head office. Thursday, February 20, 2020.
    Times Towers in Nairobi which houses Kenya Revenue Authority’s head office. Thursday, February 20, 2020
    Simon Kiragu

    The penalty also applies to employers and business partners. Further, a Ksh1 million fine is instituted for financial institutions such as banks, insurance, and investment firms who fail to file their returns.

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    “A reporting financial institution that fails to file an information return or a nil return when required under section 6B shall be liable to pay a penalty of Ksh 1million for each such failure.”

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    Reports indicate that over 4.4 million taxpayers filed their returns in last year’s financial year which ended in June 2020. Currently, the authority targets 5.5 million Kenyans in the financial year ending June 2021.

    The deadline for filing tax returns is on Wednesday, June 30. Those who file their returns after the stipulated time attract a fine of Ksh 2,000.

    The news comes as the authority had announced a mass pin deregistration for Kenyans who failed to file their tax returns. 

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    KRA issued a 30-day ultimatum to all taxpayers eligible to remit Value Added Taxes as well as income taxes.

    “Failure to file tax returns, unless the cause is shown to the contrary, the commissioner of the Domestic Taxes shall have their Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) deregistered and cancelled from the KRA system at the expiration of thirty (30) days from the date of this notice,” read the notice in part.

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    KRA urged the affected individuals to take advantage of the voluntary tax disclosure programme which aims at granting reliefs of penalties to individuals who disclose their tax liabilities.

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     “Taxpayers are also encouraged to take advantage of the Voluntary Tax Disclosure Program and apply, disclose and pay their outstanding liability with a relief on interest and penalties,” the authority stated.

    Kenya Revenue Authority signage on a building
    Kenya Revenue Authority signage on a building
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