Tax­man pushes ahead with PIN block­ing plans

Mil­lions of Kenyans and com­pa­nies to miss out on vi­tal ser­vices after delist­ing

Business Daily (Kenya) - - ECONOMY & POLITICS - Brian Ngugi bn­joroge@ke.na­tion­media.com

Mil­lions of Kenyans may from to­mor­row be blocked from ac­cess­ing crit­i­cal public ser­vices as the tax­man moves to pun­ish tax cheats with the ter­mi­na­tion of per­sonal iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­bers (PINS).

The Kenya Rev­enue Author­ity (KRA) main­tained in a public no­tice yes­ter­day that it would push ahead with a con­tro­ver­sial plan to dereg­is­ter all tax­pay­ers who have not mi­grated their pro­files to the on­line plat­form be­gin­ning Septem­ber 1 as part of a wider plan to smoke out tax cheats.

“KRA has noted that there are tax­pay­ers, who have not mi­grated their PINS into itax while oth­ers, who are al­ready on itax, are ei­ther not fil­ing or are fil­ing nil or no re­turns,” KRA said yes­ter­day in a public no­tice.

“KRA, there­fore, no­ti­fies the gen­eral public that those who have not up­dated their PINS in itax should do so by 31 Au­gust 2017 and com­mence fil­ing im­me­di­ately.”

KRA said tax­pay­ers who are yet to mi­grate their PIN in­for­ma­tion to the itax — KRA’S on­line tax pay­ment por­tal — will also be taken out of the sys­tem with se­ri­ous con­se­quences to their busi­nesses.

This im­pend­ing and un­prece­dented dereg­is­tra­tion of PINS could see mil­lions of Kenyans cut off from mak­ing crit­i­cal trans­ac­tions that re­quire proof of ac­tive reg­is­tra­tion as a tax­payer.

The trans­ac­tions that re­quire proof of an ac­tive PIN cer­tifi­cate in­clude reg­is­tra­tion of land ti­tles, ap­proval of de­vel­op­ment plans, reg­is­tra­tion, trans­fer and li­cens­ing of mo­tor ve­hi­cles, and reg­is­tra­tion of busi­ness names and com­pa­nies.

Oth­ers are un­der­writ­ing of in­sur­ance poli­cies, cus­toms clear­ing and for­ward­ing, pay­ment of de­posits for power con­nec­tions, sup­ply­ing goods and ser­vices to the State, as well as open­ing ac­counts with fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions.

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