In a new, high-tech war against tax cheats, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is set to install new electronic tax registers at business premises giving it real time access to invoices issued by traders around the country .
The KRA will require traders, manufacturers and suppliers to deploy new Internet-enabled electronic tax registers (ETRs) that allow the taxman to track how businesses conduct their invoicing at every turn of a transaction to assess the tax dues on a real time basis.
The taxman says of the new system , “KRA is implementing a Tax Invoice Management System to achieve validations and authentications of tax invoices at trader tills before generation of invoices along with their real time or near-real-time transmission.”
The new ETRs will be connected through the Internet to KRA’s systems allowing it to monitor all transactions in the traders’ Point of Sale and invoicing systems.
All businesses that have an annual turnover of at least Sh5 million are by law required to have electronic tax registers.The taxman will receive sales data from all registered companies and traders on a daily basis,Under the system.
Traders will also be required to seek the taxman’s permission to perform any other business the next day of business under the system, meaning incorrect or incomplete data logged in the previous day could lock them out.
“The control unit should send end-of-day summary after all the invoices for the respective day have been transmitted, and before starting invoice transmission for the next day,” reads part of the capabilities of the proposed ETRs and the new system that KRA intends to roll out.
Experts said the new technology is expected deepen scrutiny of transactions by traders as they will be required to account for all their trading transactions.
The KRA under the newly appointed Commissioner-General James Mburu is expected by the Treasury to collect Sh1.87 trillion in taxes in the current financial year, up from the Sh1.65 trillion it was expected to raise in the just ended financial year.