KRA Commissioner for Domestic Taxes Benson Korongo and Kiambu County Governor William Kabogo with County Secretary Frederick Kitema after signing an MOU on revenue collectio.
The County Government of Kiambu has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) enabling the taxman to collect Property Taxes and Single Business Permit fees on behalf of the devolved unit.
The partnership will enable the County government of Kiambu leverage on KRA’s iTax platform – availing the advantage of making payment through any of the 37 banks in the payment gateway, as well as through mobile telephony.
Its implementation will include a joint enforcement approach by both KRA and Kiambu County, thereby making it very difficult for defaulters to operate undetected.
The second phase will entail payment and billing of property rates through the iTax system. County revenue officers will have user rights on iTax to enable them generate billing slips through the system. Taxpayers will also be able to make payments and generate e-slips through iTax.
Speaking during the occasion, KRA’s Commissioner of Domestic Taxes Mr Benson Korongo reiterated that this was the culmination of a collaboration journey undertaken by KRA and Kiambu County to seal revenue leakages, and ultimately plough back revenue otherwise lost by the County government.
“Upon full implementation, taxpayers will be availed the convenience of accessing their bills and make payment from the comfort of their premises via iTax, and even generate and print for their permits, ” Commissioner Korongo said.
In the last financial year, Kiambu County collected a total of Ksh2.5 billion which was Ksh800 million shy of its Ksh3.3 billion target. According to Kiambu County Governor William Kabogo, the county is working to improving its revenue collection efficiency.
“The county has extended its amnesty on penalties for all rates for an additional 30 days. After this period, we will release all records to KRA for onward processing. There are a lot of buildings that are not in county records and in KRA’s records the amnesty is meant to enable such owners formalise their records without incurring the penalties’ Governor Kabogo said.
According to the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA), property rates remain the greatest challenge in county revenue collection with most county governments issuing biannual amnesties to property owners to encourage them to comply with the law.
The Public Finance Management Act, 2012, Cap 469, section 160, allows the County Committee member for Finance to authorise KRA or appoint a collection agent to collect revenue on behalf of the county government, on terms and conditions agreed in accordance to the law.
Counties are sourcing for ways of increasing revenue collection since allocations from national governments cannot meet their development requirements. This move is however a first for KRA in its endeavour to become the single Revenue collector in Kenya’s public sector.
KRA will be able to track additional tax evaders through information captured using this module on the iTax system. Regional KRA offices are being reorganised to assist County governments in the collection of County revenue, and to strengthen and revamp tax enforcement mechanisms.