5 July 2013

Kenya: KRA to Electronically Collect Tax

Photo: Monicah Mwangi/The Star
Kenyan shilling: The government has been asked to stop taxing basic commodities, the poor can barely afford.

Pan - African Financial Services provider UBA Kenya Bank Ltd. has announced a partnership with the Kenya Revenue Authority to pilot an online tax remittance/collection system aimed at facilitating electronic collection of taxes.

The system, which is already in operation, has been dubbed Integrated Tax Management system (iTax) and is set to improve revenue collection for Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) by enhancing efficiency in the collection of domestic taxes. Furthermore, it brings the advantages of convenience, time saving, audit trail, printable receipts and removes the problems of reconciliation.

Speaking while making the announcement UBA Kenya Bank Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Tunji Adeniyi said the bank is committed to providing convenient services aimed at making the lives of Kenyans better.

"We are leveraging technology integration and sustained innovation to deliver an unrivalled customer experience. We believe that our customers and prospects deserve to benefit from the convenience that online banking can provide," said Mr. Adeniyi. "UBA Kenya Bank Ltd. is focused on impacting lives through tailored financial products and services and we are continuously exploring strategic partnerships to enable us achieve this," he added.

KRA Commissioner Domestic Taxes Ms. Alice Owuor in her remarks explained that the iTax platform is borne of the necessity to optimize domestic tax collection adding that the Authority remains a subscriber to technological innovation in its service delivery.

"With this new system, taxpayers will be able to electronically file returns, make payments and enquire about their tax status online, while monitoring their accounts in real-time," Ms. Owuor explained.

She further said, UBA Kenya bank had demonstrated the zeal and capability to pilot the program and urged the public to utilize the platform ahead of the expiry of the deadline for individuals to submit their income tax returns set for June 30. UBA Kenya Bank CEO expressed confidence in the bank's strategic approach to the Kenyan market saying that the bank's partnership will not only allow UBA the privilege of being the first bank to pilot the iTax system, but also a vote of confidence in the bank's tenacity to develop and pioneer ground-breaking solutions that will shape the course of banking in this country.

Using the iTax platform, taxpayers will be able to file returns electronically online eliminating the need to fill out manual forms. Similarly, users will gain the ability to register and make domestic tax payments online without the need to physically visit a banking hall or KRA offices. Furthermore, individuals, corporations and the tax authority can view tax payments status online.

"There will be no need to queue in Banking Halls to make tax payments and file tax returns. This will save time, especially considering the traffic challenges that we experience in Nairobi as well as the long distances that people in rural areas travel to get to a banking hall," said Mr. Adeniyi.

The iTax system, according to the two officials is automated and will send the user confirmation upon a successful payment registration, electronic return filing and actual tax payment.

These developments come even as UBA Kenya Bank continues to penetrate the Kenyan market with deliberate efforts being made to lure new customers, grow the bank's deposit and further the reach to all towns within Kenya. "Demand for our services is growing and we are currently working on expanding our reach in the most practical and cost-effective way," Mr. Adeniyi intimated whose bank last year, UBA PLC (the parent bank for UBA Kenya Bank) announced impressive results for the full year 2012 growing its profit figures by over 905% and won Bank of the Year 2012 award in Africa.

The global Bank which has presence in 19 African Countries, Europe (UK & Paris) and USA is poised to continue to blaze the trail in customer service, investment in technology for innovation and convenience Banking.

KRA has now done away with its previous imts solution that was a bit clumsy and had delays due to login load and can confidently say "there will be no more "KRA online" but iTax after the authority re-engineering the process that is geared towards efficient revenue collection, broadening the tax bracket by making it user friendly and aim to increase revenue in tandem with the increased budget needs.

iTax is a web enabled system with more features included like: mandatory confirmation of auditors for companies, one pin one tax registration, registration and verification of registration details and will have SMS alerts sent upon all transactions. The system is rolled out in two; part one has, tax registration, e-filling, e-payment and tax return filling while part two is having users operate excel, open office for large data capture and simplicity. By using iTax all agency revenue declaration and payments will be done online through the banks thus where UBA has taken the bold step to pilot the partnership.

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