More than 5.5 million taxpayers filed their tax returns for the year 2020 as the filing period officially closed at midnight on Wednesday 30th June 2021. This means that 1.1 million more taxpayers turned out to file their returns this year compared to the 4.4 million who filed their returns last year, reflecting a 19% growth.
The growth in the numbers show positive progress in tax compliance, a move that is anticipated to further drive the country towards economic growth. As has been the case in the previous years, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Tax Service Offices did not experience long queues during the last days of filing. This is attributed to efficiency of the iTax platform, effective taxpayer sensitization on filing of returns and efficient taxpayer support services through the KRA Contact Centre and Tax Service Offices across the country as well as extension of working staff hours.
KRA has progressively enhanced the iTax system for a better user experience. For instance, iTax has been enriched to include an auto-populated return for taxpayers with employment income as the only source of income. Taxpayers in this category, whose annual tax returns constitute the bulk of all annual tax returns, are only required to fill in annual pension and tax relief details in the respective fields provided to complete the return process.
Currently there are about 6.1 million taxpayers who are registered on iTax. KRA projects to increase the number of active taxpayers by 2 million, to 8.2 million by the end of June 2023.
KRA acknowledges and appreciates all taxpayers who turned up to file their annual tax returns. Kenyans are urged to file returns early, beginning January of every calendar year, to avoid last minute rush that comes around on the 30th June deadline. Just like tax payment, filing of tax returns is an important tax compliance tenet, which is put in place to ascertain tax compliance.
Taxpayers are also reminded that the penalty for late filing of annual returns for Income Tax Individuals is KShs.2000 or 5% of tax due whichever is higher, while Income Tax for Non-Individual is Ksh. 20,000 or 5% of tax due whichever is higher.