KRA rolls out digital excise stamps to seal tax leakages, widen revenue base

 

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has introduced new generation excise stamps for all tobacco, wines, spirits, ready-to-drink alcoholic drinks and beers.

The new excise stamps bear a Quick Response Code (QRC) that will enable distributors, retailers and consumers to authenticate the legitimacy of excisable products using a Smartphone.

The new excise stamps are part of the rollout of the Electronic Goods Management System (EGMS), aimed at combating illicit trade and sealing revenue leakage loopholes, therefore enhancing compliance.

The taxman, however, said that the old generation paper stamps affixed on wines, cigarettes, beers and spirits will continue to be used in the meantime until all products on which they have been affixed are consumed.

The Commissioner for the Domestic Taxes Department, Benson Korongo, said the introduction of a smartphone app to verify the authenticity of goods will enable manufacturers, distributors, retailers and consumers to trace all excisable goods through the distribution chain.

“The verification of the new excise stamps using a Smartphone app will further enable consumers to verify that the products hence guaranteeing their safety. Through the system, we can ensure that counterfeit products that are harmful for consumers don’t flow through the distribution chain,” Korongo said.

He added that the move will not only benefit the authority but also help consumers take what is right for them thus safeguarding their life.

Korongo ascertained that the taxman is in talks with relevant stakeholders to ensure the EGMS is rolled out countrywide.

“Following the strong revenue performance of the products managed under EGMS, the Authority is in advanced consultations with relevant stakeholders for the roll out of the system on the remaining excisable goods,” Korongo said.

Data from the firm reveals that excise revenue grew by 28 per cent in the year 2015/16 over collection in the year 2014/15.

During the same period, domestic excise revenue from products controlled under EGMS grew by 43 per cent, contributing an additional collection of Sh8 billion, the highest recorded annual growth in history.

The public has been advised to use the Smartphone application to verify and report any illicit products to the nearest KRA offices.

 

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