It is that time of the year where every one, including myself, rushes to KRA website to file the annual tax returns. By the way if you wouldn’t have filed your tax returns by the end of tomorrow then prepare yourself to chuck some Kshs 20,000 in penalties – but as you rush to file the tax returns, be ready to embrace some major frustrations.
First, the KRA website is the slowest website currently running in the country. This might be excused as millions of Kenyans are rushing to beat the tax returns deadline, but it is important to recognise the fact that the KRA website is typically slower, and difficult to maneuver all year round. KRA has also known over the years that surges at this time of the year, and should have increased bandwidth to accommodate the heightened traffic.
Secondly, the KRA tax filing procedure is very hard and confusing. I had complained about the tedious process of filing the tax returns in this article, but one year later KRA has done practically nothing to make filing the tax returns easier. Any tax payer is still subjected to the use of complicated excel files, although KRA has decided to provide a PDF step by step guide on how to go about filling in the complicated excel sheets.
Third, if you happen to have a question that needs prompt feedback, then you are doomed. The KRA contact number 0711-099-999 and 0204998999 are not working, and the 020499999 goes through but takes centuries before a customer care representative picks up. Actually I stayed on the line for long until my airtime ran out. Then the only KRA customer care twitter account has been inactive since 2012. Actually, the account has just this single tweet:
To all our friends! Kindly bare with us as we still set up our online systems to serve you more effectively through social media.
— KRA (@KRACustomerCare) August 16, 2012
The other Kenya Revenue twitter accounts are parody accounts. The only place where you can get help after waiting for a decade and a half is via the KRA Facebook Page.
But those three reasons are not why I would want whoever is in charge of KRA website and online services fired. The reason this guy ought to go is because he has deactivated the ability to retrieve forgotten PINs and passwords. The most basic feature of an online portal that requires users to login come with the ability to allow those who have forgotten their passwords and user IDs to retrieve them. The KRA online portal and the iTax portal do not allow this, sadly. If you have forgotten your PIN and/or user ID for the iTax portal, then it seems you are screwed.
Long ago there used to be a way to retrieve your PIN, but that has since been removed from the KRA online services. Today, if you can’t remember your KRA PIN, then you have two options: either to visit your local KRA office with a copy of your ID number, or write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, an email that probably will never be replied to.