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Over 953,000 face penalties for missing KRA's tax returns deadline

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According to KRA data, 8,046,029 taxpayers filed their returns by the deadline, less than the target of 9 million.

As of the June 30 deadline for filing tax returns to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), 953,971 Kenyans had not fulfilled the requirement exposing themselves to penalties.

According to KRA data, 8,046,029 taxpayers filed their returns by the deadline, less than the target of 9 million. This figure, however, represents an increase of 1.7 million compared to the previous year’s filings.

Missing the tax filing deadline results in a fine of Sh2,000 or five per cent of the individual’s tax bill, whichever is higher while companies face penalties of Sh10,000 or five per cent of the payable tax for the year.

In the days leading up to the deadline, the taxman processed over 100,000 filings daily, as reported on June 27, a number which typically surges as the deadline nears.

To accommodate more taxpayers, the KRA extended working hours at all service centres and selected Huduma Centres and contact outlets countrywide.

Filing returns has become a key strategy for the KRA to identify tax evaders and boost income revenue collection amid challenges in meeting targets.

By law, all individuals with a personal identification number must file returns regardless of their employment status.

Despite the KRA’s efforts, it recorded the largest shortfall in tax collections from employees.

The National Treasury's quarterly report indicates that the authority missed its pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) target by Sh72.3 billion in the first nine months of the last financial year, which ended on June 30. The Treasury also projects a potential shortfall of Sh300 billion in this year’s targets.

In the financial year 2021/2022 (July 2021 – June 2022), the KRA recorded a monumental revenue collection of Sh2.031 trillion compared to Sh1.669 trillion in the financial year 2020/2021.

It registered an above–target stellar revenue performance after exceeding the fiscal year target as stated in the Budget Policy Statement. KRA surpassed the original target of Sh1.882 trillion and two other upward revenue target revisions of Sh1.911 trillion, which were later revised to Sh1.976 trillion.

This was the first time the authority surpassed its original target in 14 years (since FY 2007/08) after the previous target revisions were adjusted downwards.

The taxman noted that the positive revenue growth rate mirrored improved tax compliance by taxpayers who contributed to a revenue surplus of Sh148.9 Billion against the original target,the highest surplus ever in KRA’s history.

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