Go online to file your tax returns

Wednesday May 27 2015

Tax payers queue outside the Kenya Revenue Authority offices to file their tax returns. One does not necessarily need to visit these centres if you have Internet access.  PHOTO | FILE

Tax payers queue outside the Kenya Revenue Authority offices to file their tax returns. One does not necessarily need to visit these centres if you have Internet access. PHOTO | FILE 

By MARYANNE GICOBI
More by this Author

You have until June 30 to file your tax returns.

And by completing the process online, you will save yourself from the last minute rush that usually results in long, winding queues at the Kenya Revenue Authority offices in Times Tower, Nairobi, every so often.

To ease the process, the taxman has come up with an online platform  — iTax — a robust system to help you file your tax returns at the comfort of your home or office.

To help taxpayers use the system, the authority has also come up with iTax support centres, which are small branches, located in different parts of the country, where you can seek assistance incase you have challenges or questions on filing your tax records.

In Nairobi, the iTax support centres are located in Railway Club, in Mombasa, the shop is at Customs House (Long Room), the Kisumu one is at Swan Centre.

For taxpayers in Nyeri, once can get help at  Premier Plaza while Eldoret iTax support centre is at Kiptangich House.

USER FRIENDLY WEBSITE

Kenya Revenue Authority domestic taxes department, medium and small tax payers commissioner Alice Owuor told Money that one does not necessarily need to visit these centres if you have Internet access.

However, before you log in to the KRA iTax portal, you need to have the following items ready:

If you are employed, get a Form P9A from your employer.

You also need your employer’s Personal Identification Number (PIN) if it’s not already indicated on the P9A. An employer’s PIN ascertains that your employer transacts with the Kenya Revenue Authority.

In case you are not employed, you need to have all your financial statements ready, for instance, business income, farming income or rent income.

For taxpayers with a salary, you need to enter all your income from the employment. Further, one should furnish the taxman with  details of other employment benefits such as car, house and pension income in case you are a pensioner.

When you finally log in into the KRA website www.kra.go.ke, select the link — File Tax Returns under online services.

The website is user friendly and provides a step-by-step filling procedure.

The commissioner says that the authority has reduced the number of forms, which people with employment income need to fill.

“We have made it simpler for those in employment, they make around 75 per cent of those who file returns, it will take them around five minutes to fill the form,” said Ms Owuor.

For taxpayers, who are employed but have other sources of money other than employment income, for instance, farming, rent, interest income, there are specific slots where they can provide these vital details to the taxman.

Once you complete filling the forms, click submit and then calculate.

A successful process would see you get a message informing you that your request has been processed successfully.

If you do not submit your tax returns by June 30, you risk being  penalised five per cent net tax every year, with the minimum penalty being Sh1,000.

LONG QUEUES

There is a group of filers called the nil filers, these are people, who have registered a company hoping to run a business but they have not started it yet. They will also be required to submit their tax returns online.

“No manual nil returns will be accepted in the KRA offices because for nil filers, their online process is the easiest and shortest,” said Ms Owuor.

The authority is urging taxpayers to file tax returns online since it takes a short time and energy compared to queuing at the taxman’s offices at Times Tower.

Ms Owour says the system has been upgraded to accommodate high traffic.

“We have invested in high capacity servers, we have done test runs on the website, and stress testing and we have found the system capable of handling large number of users,” said Ms Owuor.

The taxman is also coming up with more iTax support centres to reduce on the heavy traffic of people experienced at the KRA main offices.

New offices are coming up in Embu, Meru, Garissa counties as well as in Nairobi’s Eastleigh. KRA services can also be found at all Huduma Centres in Kenya.

*************

DECLARATION

what the law says on rent income

The Law

Rental income is taxable under Section 3(2) (a) (iii) of the Income Tax Act, Cap 470

Laws of Kenya. In addition, rent on non-residential buildings (Commercial) is also

taxable under Section 5 and 6 VAT Act Cap 476.

 

What is Taxable?

All rent, premium or any other consideration for use or occupation of property.

 

Rates of Taxation

Taxation rates are dependent on whether the taxable person is an individual or

corporate entity and whether they are resident or non resident.

1. For resident individuals, the annual tax rates (on total annual income including

net rent income) are as follows:

On the first Sh121,968 .....10pc

On the next Sh114,912 .... 15pc

On the next Sh114,912 .... 20pc

On the next Sh114,912......25pc

On all income over Sh466,704...30pc

Note: The above scales are referred to as “graduated”

 

Kenyans in the diaspora

Any Kenyan living out of the country but owns property in Kenya must pay tax in

Kenya on the rent earned. If non-resident (as defined in Section 2 of the Income

Tax Act Cap 470), such rent is subject to a withholding tax at 30 per cent of the gross

which is then a final tax. However, if resident the rate of tax shall be at graduated

scale on net rent income.

 

— Source: KRA