Kenyans are set to pay their taxes via their mobile phones, thanks to a new service launched by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) which uses Short Message Service (SMS) and USSD technology.
With the help of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) through its Customs Administration Capacity Building Project has provided the platform with technical support in testing and launching the service.
Taxpayers and their agents will now be able to request for information from KRA through any mobile network operator in the country by dialling the USSD code *572# to access the menu or by sending an SMS request to 22572. The information services that will be availed to you include Domestic Tax Services and Road Transport Service.
KRA, JICA Project and Craft Silicon are looking to expand the service as well as introduce the mobile payment service in future.
KRA Commissioner General, John Njiraini, says the authority also plans to substantially automate its processes with a target to become fully ICT networked with its corporate plan which ends in June 2015.
The authority also has plans to have a fully paperless organisation with taxpayers provided with many way through which they can access their 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,” said Njiraini. “We also want to encourage the non-compliant Kenyans to take the cue, mend their ways and begin to pay takes.”
Technology seems to be getting its way into the government of Kenya, we will soon say goodbye to the long queues in KRA saving us that precious time as well as cutting out the pest called bribing.