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KRA prioritises technology to plug revenue leakages

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has aligned its office processes in a move meant to plug revenue leakages. Commissioner General John Njiraini said the authority has prioritised development of technology solutions for the front, middle and back offices to ensure they operate effectively.

Speaking while rolling out a scanning machine linked to the recently introduced Integrated Customs Management System (iCMS), Njiraini said the system is now expected to seal several loopholes that the Simba customs system could not do.

He said iCMS has several advantages compared to Simba which had some shortfalls, adding: “We have rolled out the system for air cargo operations and the management of air passenger declarations.”

Njiraini said the roll out of the cover marine cargo operations is in progress with target to complete the process in January. iCMS, he explained brings on board key innovations such as automated valuation benchmarking – this feature enables Customs to use system in-built values to interrogate declarations that fall outside tolerable limits.

He said the system will address the perennial problem of cargo undervaluation which is a major source of revenue leakage. Njiraini said iCMS would get rid of fraud which has been prevalent in the importer validation of declaration and allowed clearing agents to validate declarations before their submission to Customs.

“This lapse has occasioned fraud opportunities where importers are duped into paying money in excess of what KRA receives. The new feature will prevent such fraudulent schemes by enabling taxpayers to have a pre-emptive view of declarations before they reach Customs,” he added.

The KRA boss said the new system will now be integrated with the I-Tax to enable data sharing on those who import to enable follow up on domestic tax declarations.

“Those who import but fail to make domestic tax declarations will automatically be locked out of further importation,” Njiraini said, adding that the same facility will apply for persons involved in exportation.

Other key features include auto-population of customs declarations from shipping data, creation of an online virtual auction which enables any Kenyan to bid at customs auctions and the provision of an automated tariff facility which effectively empowers any person to make a customs declaration.

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