We’re here again. It’s a yet another season of filing tax returns. But in typical Kenyan fashion, a number of us will wait until the last minute to rush. Some have already forgotten how to do it and simply need a reminder. Others are paying someone to do it for them without realizing how easy it is to file your returns.

Did you know that it takes just about 10 minutes to file your returns on the innovative tax administration system (iTax) portal? The system has evolved since it was introduced in 2014 and it has been designed to make it as simple as possible for you to use.

Also read: Pay your taxes. It’s good for you!

All payments of Domestic Tax are required to be made through the portal that has a payment gateway that is easily accessible via the official KRA website.

How to file your individual tax returns on the iTax system

There are a few requirements to have at hand to before you begin:

  1. If you are employed, have your employer information with you. This includes your employer’s KRA PIN
  2. The P9 Form from your employer – this contains almost all the information you need to file your returns.
  3. All financial statements.
  4. The mortgage interest certificate/Underwriter’s PIN/Insurance Premium Certificate
  5. Withholding tax certificates, if necessary
  6. Other relevant documents in regards to claims for deductions or income received

To use the iTax system, you ought to have a KRA pin that will give you access to the online portal which can be accessed through most web browsers.

The iTax portal is accessible via the KRA website.  Image: COURTESY
The iTax portal is accessible via the KRA website.
Image: COURTESY

Below are the steps:

  1. Access the official iTax portal (https://itax.kra.go.ke/KRA-Portal/) input your KRA PIN
  2. You will be prompted to key in your password and to answer a simple yet mandatory security stamp in the form of an arithmetic question. You will have 5 tries to do this or else your account will be locked.
  3. Once you log in, your profile will be displayed. Click on e-returns and this should open a new page.
  4. Select the relevant tax that you are to pay then click next.
  5. On the page that follows, you will find information on the filling process and links to download the KRA file returns form. Click to download the form (whether in Excel or ODS format, whichever is compatible with your device) and open it.
  6. The tax-returns form contains different fields to be filled correctly. When done inputting all the required details, save the document on your device as a zip file then return to the file returns online KRA portal.
  7. On the portal, select the time period for which you are filing your taxes.
  8. Upload the zip file on this page and then agree on the terms and conditions before submitting.
  9. The system will now validate the PIN you entered and should successfully complete the process to file KRA returns online. If unsuccessful, it will display an error message on failure to authenticate. If successful, it will display a confirmatory message.

Filing nil returns

Nil returns are filed by a taxpayer did not qualify to pay taxes during the reported year. This means Kenyan citizens who are either unemployed (such as university students) or are employed but earn a salary below the country’s taxable income.

The minimum taxable income in Kenya is sh.12,000/=

Below is the simplified process:

  1. Access the official iTax portal (https://itax.kra.go.ke/KRA-Portal/) input your KRA PIN
  2. You will be prompted to key in your password and to answer a simple yet mandatory security stamp in the form of an arithmetic question. You will have 5 tries to do this or else your account will be locked.
  3. Once you log in, your profile will be displayed. Navigate to “returns” on the main menu of the page and select “File Nil Returns”
  4. You will be directed to the Tax Obligation Page for nil returns. Select your type of taxation and tax obligation and enter your KRA PIN then click next.
  5. Your screen will display the Income Tax Resident Individual Nil e-Return/PAYE nil e-Return form and will ask for your ID number, the entity type, branch name, and the return period. Fill in the remaining boxes then click submit.
  6. A successful submission message will then be displayed followed by an acknowledgment receipt.

See video below for further details.