If you have not been reading the newspapers or watching TV, you only have a few more days to file in your tax returns for income earned between January and December 2016.
The word tax tends to be very intimidating for most – it does have a gloom and doom lingering around it if you think about it, especially because words and phrases such as “penalties” and “the government will find you” are associated with it. As long as you do your due diligence as a citizen though, and pay your taxes on time, there is nothing to worry about.
To put it clearly we have outlined some reasons why you should get to your computer and file your returns as soon as you can.
1. As long as you hold a KRA PIN Number, it is mandatory for you to submit at return. It doesn’t matter whether you have zero income at all, not employed, or been confined to a bed for all of 2016. It is a requirement. Even for those who go abroad and say goodbye to Kenya, if you ever plan to return, your lack of filing returns will be waiting for you.
2. KRA allows for a NIL return, i.e. download the form and enter your details (pin, year of return 01/01/2016 to 31/12/2106) and then skip over to the last tab and click ‘Validate’. It will generate a zero/Nil return. Then log in online and simply upload the zip file it generates.
3. The fine is now Kes 20,000 for not filing a return (whether or not you earned any income). Yes, if your guard, or house-help has a valid KRA Pin, failure to file a return (even a nil return) will incur them a fine. That’s right. And if they ignore this for 5 years, and decide to run as an MCA because your whole estate just adores them, they will come face to face with a fine of over 100k plus unbelievable interest.
I listened to radio as a KRA official reminded Kenyans that ‘AS LONG AS you have a KRA PIN Number’, you are obligated to file a return. So please, do not forget or skip filing your returns this year, even if its NIL. And let the person next to you know that as well.