from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI – THE Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has introduced online alternative dispute resolution (ADR) sessions to safeguard taxpayers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This is part of measures to support taxpayer access to all essential services online.
The ADR sessions can now be held, uninterrupted through virtual facilities.
The facilities bring together the taxpayer, the assessing Commissioner and a facilitator who chairs the session as would happen in a face-to-face ADR session.
KRA explained the online session is cost effective and convenient to taxpayers as it covers a larger geographical area with the option of multiple individuals at different locations dialling in.
Thus, the agency can now connect with taxpayers and their agents from the comfort of their offices or homes through video/teleconferencing technology applications such as Zoom, Skype or Google hangouts.
“KRA has not been left behind in the use of technology as a business continuity model,” said Rispah Simiyu, KRA Deputy Commissioner for Tax Dispute Resolution.
She encouraged parties with tax disputes, including assessing commissioners and taxpayers, together with their agents, to continue engaging virtually under the ADR framework.
“ADR is cost effective, presents an opportunity for faster resolution of tax disputes, improves compliance and preserves the relationship between the disputants,” Simiyu said.
ADR was rolled out in 2015 to complement litigation by providing amicable and timely settlement of tax disputes.
The 2018/2019 financial year saw the sharpest spike in ADR with 502 applications received.
Of these, 237 cases with a revenue yield of over Ksh 8 billion (US$75,5 million) were successfully resolved.
– CAJ News