, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 14 – The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has launched a new service to enable taxpayers inquire for information using a Short Message Service (SMS) and USSD technology via mobile phones.
With this new service, taxpayers and their agents can now request for information from KRA through any mobile network operator (Airtel, Orange, Safaricom and YU) by simply dialling the USSD code *572# to access the menu or sending an SMS request to 22572.
Available information services include Domestic Tax Services, Customs Services and Road Transport Services.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), through its Customs Administration Capacity Building Project has provided the necessary server and the software with technical support in testing and launching of the service.
KRA, the JICA Project and its technology partner Craft Silicon are currently working to expand the scope of the service as well as to launch mobile payment services in the near future to make tax services more convenient and transparent to taxpayers.
KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini says the authority also plans to substantially automate its processes with a target to become fully Information Communication and Technology (ICT) networked with its corporate plan which ends in June 2015.
Before the expiry date the authority plans to have a fully paperless organization with taxpayers provided with multiple avenues through which they can access KRA services.
“This process will not only ease tax compliance but will also help greatly in eradicating opportunities for corruption that the current manual environment provides,” Njiraini.
Njiraini was speaking at the 10th Annual Taxpayers’ Week launch that will take place from October 14 to 22, 2013 countrywide.
The week is aimed at recognising those people who contribute towards the funding of the State through the payment of taxes.
Njiraini says the week will also encourage paying tax compliance by the non-compliant general public.
“We also want to encourage the non-compliant Kenyans to take the cue, mend their ways and begin to pay takes,” he says.
Among the activities of the week include holding tax clinics countrywide to sensitise the public on taxation and its crucial role in state building.
Njiraini says it’s important for the public to appreciate paying taxes and the role they can play in making state building a success.
“It’s necessary if our country is to avoid the kind of fiscal crisis gripping developed countries whose governments have for long depended on debt,” Njiraini says.