Ardhisasa to increase revenue collection, improve services – CS Karoney
Published on: September 07, 2021 09:30 (EAT)
Ardhisasa land management system, recently launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta, will increase revenue collection and in turn improve the quality of services offered to Kenyans, Lands and Physical Planning Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney has said. In her speech during the 6th African Tax Research Network (ATRN) Congress held virtually on Monday, CS Karoney said with the integration of digital records and data relating to registration of persons and businesses, it becomes very easy to expand the tax base through capture of more properties into the system. “The digitalisation of the land and property market system presents the opportunity for tax administration regimes to exponentially expand the tax-bases, enhance revenue collection, improve efficiency in enforcement and compliance, reduce tax evasion, reduce the cost of tax collection and other administrative structures and improve tracking, reporting, fore-casting and decision making,” she remarked. “In addition, the digitalisation of the property regime in the Country is expanding the formal land transaction regime to larger parts of cities and urban areas which hitherto, were excluded from the tax base.” The Cabinet Secretary further noted that digitalisation of land records and transactions will improve integration between the Ministry of Lands and other public institutions hence improve efficiency and service delivery. “Some of the benefits of digitalisation of land records and land transactions are improved integration with other public sector authorities, judicial organs, the banking /financial sector agencies, investigative and tax administration regimes, certainty of land ownership, security of tenure, reduction of land disputes and improved land conveyancing. “The system, which is part of Kenya e-Government Strategy 2004, will also ensure cost effectiveness, timely delivery of public services and enhancement of the ease of doing business in the Country,” she stated. In his address, Kenya Revenue Authority Acting Commissioner General Githii Mburu attributed the rapid transformation of the business environment to growth of modern technology. “The robust uptake of modern technology has especially spiked as a result of the coronavirus pandemic which has in a way forced businesses to shift from brick and mortar model to digitalisation in order to remain profitable. The benefits of digitalisation go a long way, not only in enhancing tax mobilisation abut also improving service delivery to tax payers,” he said, in a speech read on his behalf by Dr. David Kinuu (Commissioner in the Corporate Support Services Department at the KRA). On his part, ATAF Executive Secretary Mr. Logan Wort called on members to explore how property taxes can enhance broader resource mobilisation both at internal technical level and at the continental level. “Property tax deals with broadening the tax base and filling a gap, but my understanding is that the value of any property is determined by improvements that you put on it and the infrastructure around it, for instance energy, roads and human resource capital. And so as we discuss digital topography estimation and all modern forms of property and property taxation, we need to discuss about properties outside urban centres and what drives value of land outside urban centres,” he said. The event, which was held virtually, was organised by African Tax Administration Forum (ATRN) and Kenya School of Revenue Administration (KESRA), an affiliate of the Kenya Revenue Authority, under the theme “Maximising the Revenue Potential of Property Taxes through Digitisation”.