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Kenya wants to use Huduma Namba digital ID system to tackle tax evasion

Kenya wants to use Huduma Namba digital ID system to tackle tax evasion

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is hoping lawmakers can give their nod on proposed further amendments to the Huduma Namba bill to enable the agency to access a larger database as part of its efforts to tighten its grip on tax evaders.

According to Business Daily, the proposed amendments to the Huduma Namba digital ID system will make it possible for the revenue authority to access the personal data of resident individuals, including their biometric data, for tax-related matters.

KRA is pushing for Parliament to review section 5(1)(3)(c) of the Huduma Act 2021 to enable the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) database to support the issuance of a functional information identifier for administration purposes.

Going by the report, the Huduma Namba will be used as the unique tax identifier for all Kenyans from the age of 18 – the legal age every Kenyan citizen is expected to file taxes.

If the changes happen, all Huduma Namba ID holders turning 18 will automatically be entered into the tax database and be required to file returns with the digital ID serving as their personal identification number.

KRA authorities say this change is needed not only to fight tax fraud, but also to expand the tax base as local outlet Business Daily is quoted as reporting that just under six million of 25 million eligible tax payers in the country filed tax returns in the past year.

The report adds that if the proposed new policy comes into force, Huduma Namba ID card holders who have attained legal age for tax will be required to file tax returns irrespective of their employment status.

The Huduma Namba bill has been in parliament since the start of the year, and has major amendments to it, including one which makes the digital ID compulsory for all Kenyans.

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