Lawmakers are considering a bill seeking to rename Kenya Revenue Authority to Kenya Revenue Service.
The state-backed Kenya Revenue Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2022 is due for first reading when the National Assembly resumes regular sittings on Tuesday.
“The principal object of the bill is to amend the Kenya Revenue Authority Act, 1995 by changing the name ‘Kenya Revenue Authority’ to ‘Kenya Revenue Service’,” Majority leader Amos Kimunya said in the bill’s memorandum.
It also seeks to amend other statutes, which have references to the name Kenya Revenue Authority to reflect the new name.
Kimunya said the name of the taxman is being changed to deal with negative public perceptions about the agency.
“The public perception of the use of the word “authority “is that the word connotes a commandeering body rather than a friendly service-oriented institution,” the Kipipiri MP said.
The change of name is thus “intended to rebrand the authority in transforming its public image and thus enhancing tax compliance through improved public relations.”
He said with the rebranding, KRA would be enabled to “maintain a clear focus on taxpayers’ needs and rights.”
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani had revealed the plans during the presentation of the 2022-23 financial year budget to the National Assembly on April 7.
He said the reforms followed the expectation that government agencies be sensitive and responsive to emerging customer needs.
“In this respect, the Kenya Revenue Authority has been on a journey of transformation to enhance customer-centric service delivery.
“The change of the name is intended to rebrand the authority and transform its public image,” Yatani said at that time, the same goals now captured on the bill.
The bill also proposes consequential amendments to other statutes, which have reference to the name ‘Kenya Revenue Authority’ and align them to the proposed new name.
Kimunya said the bill wouldn’t affect the operations of the taxman.
“The Service shall be the successor of the Kenya Revenue Authority existing immediately before the commencement of this Act.
“Subject to this Act, all the rights, duties, obligations, assets and liabilities of the Kenya Revenue Authority existing at the commencement of this section shall be transferred to the Service,” the bill reads.
The proposed law also states that any person who held office as a member of the board or staff of the authority before the commencement of this section, shall continue to hold office as if that person had been appointed under this Act.
The bill provides that any reference to KRA in any document, instrument or proceedings will be construed as reference to the newly created revenue service.
“Any register kept, registration effected, certificate issued, notice or information given or return made by the authority before the commencement date of this section, shall continue in force and have effect as if kept, effected, issued, given, made or done by the service,” the proposed law reads.
Among the laws to be changed are the Anti-Counterfeit Act, 2008, Betting Gaming and Lotteries Act (Cap131), Income Tax Act, Air Passenger Service Act, Stamp Duty Act, Export Processing Zones Act and Public Finance Management Act, 2012.
Others are the Value Added Tax Act, 2013, Tax Appeals Tribunal Act, 2013, Special Economic Zones Act, 2015, Tax Procedures Act, 2015, Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act, 2016, and Excise Duty Act, 2015.