The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) management says it has temporarily suspended iTax functions, among them tax compliance certificate approvals, tax returns amendments, amendment of assessments and ledger amendments including capture of waiver penalties and interests.
The move was announced by the taxman in an internal memo to staffers, in which the body attributes the move to ‘incidence of system abuse’.
“There’s a team working on a resolution of the issues identified. In the meantime, kindly be patient as we are putting in place a workaround to contain the situation,” said the memo, signed by Ms Elizabeth Meyo, the KRA Commissioner for Domestic Taxes.
This comes a month to the deadline of filing tax returns for all Kenyans, and might see the exercise affected, considering that Kenyans wait for the last minute to fulfill some obligations.
“This is a very serious situation and must be monitored very closely and prompt decisive action taken. In this regard, besides the efforts you are making to dispel any anxiety among staff and to ensure normal operations, it is important to also prepare daily performance reports/data in comparison to previous periods for purposes of monitoring performance trends as well as to inform appropriate decision making,” Mr Saina added.
However, the staffers have protested the move, saying that the management is spying on them and they have limited resources to perform their functions.
“The authority has been flooded with intelligence operatives, ostensibly to spy on us so that we uphold integrity. Currently, the Intelligence and Strategic Operations department hires more police/security trained officers than technical officers,” the protest reads in part.
“In many stations, staff have to contribute to buy basic amenities like printing paper and even printers. A good number of staff members have to use their personal laptops to perform their duties as the authority does not provide sufficient computers,” adds the notice.
Early this month, over 70 KRA officials were interdicted after they were accused of involvement in underhand deals and aiding tax evasion.
38 were arrested and charged, and later released on a cash bail of Ksh200,000.