The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) relying on the Tax Appeals Tribunal (TAT) to expedite resolutions that will see it access more than Kshs. 200 billion in disputed taxes.
TAT which was established under the Tax Appeals Tribunal Act 2013 has been responsible for handling tax disputes between KRA and taxpayers and has been lauded for its efficiency in resolving cases before it as opposed to a court process.
According to Commissioner General Githii Mburu the authority is exploring the deployment of the Tax Appeals Tribunal (TAT) on a full-time basis to expedite resolution of tax disputes.
Last year, KRA netted in excess of Kshs 17 billion in taxes arising from resolutions by the tribunal some of which were awarded after the High Court squashed appeals filed by complainants.
The move comes in the wake of revenue collection recovery in the month of December which saw the taxman record a 3.5% increase in revenue collection which jumped to Kshs. 166 billion against a target of Kshs 164 billion over the same period last year.
After revenue collection declined as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, KRA says the revenue performance at the rate of 101.3% in December was the first positive and above target collection rate since the outbreak.
“The improved performance is attributed to the economic recovery following the relaxation of the stringent Covid-19 containment measures and enhanced compliance efforts by KRA in the month of December,” said Commissioner General Githii Mburu.
During the month of December, Customs & Border Control (C&BC) Department recorded the highest ever monthly revenue collection in KRA’s history by collecting Kshs 60.8 billion reflecting a growth of 40.9% and registering a revenue surplus of Kshs 12.191 billion.
As a result cumulative surplus for customs revenue of Kshs 3.8 billion at the end of December 2020 compared to a deficit of Kshs 8.4 billion as at the end of November 2020.
The exemptions and remissions also saw the segment lose Kshs. 3.3 billion on account exemptions and omissions which dropped 39.3%.
On the other hand, Domestic Taxes Department also registered the highest collection rate of 91.1% in December since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) taxes recorded the best performance at 99.8% while Withholding Tax surpassed the target by Kshs 725 million reflecting positive economic recovery prospects.
Corporation taxes nonetheless decline to Kshs. 9.8 billion from Kshs. 13.1 billion collected in 2019.
KRA expects domestic remittances of Value Added Tax (VAT) and other segments to recover in the first quarter of the year after Treasury reverted it to 16% from 14% effective January 1st, 2021 after a 19.9% decline as purchases accelerated at a faster rate (8.9% growth) than sales (1.4% growth).