By Christine Muchira
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) efforts to transform the national revenue collection system using Information technology solutions have received a coveted commendation in the global banking arena.
In a rare feat for African public financial sector players, KRA was picked the Highly Commended Winner, Best in Class Treasury Solution In Africa award, in the just announced Treasury Adam Smith Awards 2016.
KRA won the Africa Category title from a wider pool of more than 219 nominations from 19 countries across the world, principally for facilitating a tax payment gateway for more than 37 local commercial banks on the iTax and Simba system platforms.
On the winners’ podium, KRA will be sharing the limelight with global private sector giants such as Etihad Airways, Coca-Cola HBC AG, Toyota Motor Credit Corporation, Microsoft, Volvo Cars, Boeing, Rolls Royce Holdings Plc. and Majid Al Futtaim Holding LLC among others.
Now in its ninth year, the Adam Smith Awards organized by Treasury on Wednesday, are firmly established as the ultimate industry benchmark for achievement in corporate treasury.
The Adam Smith Awards showcase the very best and brightest across the whole industry.
To win the award, KRA submitted a case study on the successful rollout of the iTax Domestic Tax platform citing its Best in Class attributes as relates to Treasury Management in the public sector.
The award submission by KRA provided credible evidence on measures taken to streamline domestic and customs tax collections and the related treasury management solutions in conjunction with leading local Corporate Bankers such as Citi among others.
Speaking after receiving a communiqué confirming KRA’s win, KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini noted that the award underlines the Authority?s commitment to global excellence in revenue collection.
The iTax platform, he disclosed, currently features more than 3.5 million active taxpayers.
While paying tribute to KRA employees for a job well done, Njiraini confirmed that the new system has enhanced tax collection efficiencies. For the period ending 1st January to 8th June 2016, the iTax platform?s payment gateway managed to process transactions valued at more than Kshs 280 billion.
The submission facilitated by the KRA Finance Team led by Deputy Commissioner Josephat Omondi, effectively traced the authority?s journey to the introduction of a digitized domestic tax collection system interlinked with ten key banks through a robust payment gateway.
The payment gateway allows local corporates and individual taxpayers to conveniently file their returns and settle their tax dues through the local commercial banks network.
With the integration of the payment gateway, KRA has managed to enjoy greater operating and process efficiencies while delivering value added services to taxpayers. Through the iTax integration, a key corporate banker such as Citi managed to process more than 20% of KRAs total tax collection in the last financial year.
Since its original launch in March 2014, the iTax platform has revolutionalised public service delivery through the complete elimination of manual processes in tax administration.
Currently, KRA has migrated in entirety a variety of its services to the iTax platform, including PIN registration, Tax Compliance Certificate application and issuance and the filing and processing of VAT refunds.
Electronic filing of tax returns and payment services are also available for all taxes, meaning that there no longer exists the need for any taxpayer to physically visit KRA offices or even their bank to transact tax business.