The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) on Tuesday, July 21 announced that it had extended the period in which Kenyans could file for withholding VAT refunds.
In a notice on local publications, the taxman noted that some taxpayers were not able to file their applications for a refund for the 1-18 July 2018 period due to a technical challenge and may therefore not meet the deadline of 22nd July 2020.
"The affected taxpayers are therefore advised that the technical challenge has since been resolved and they may proceed to lodge their WHVAT refund applications until July 31, 2020," KRA stated.
Taxpayers eligible for a refund of withheld VAT under section 17 of the VAT Act 2013 but have not made applications are encouraged to lodge applications in iTax at the end of the month.
The body added that the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 2019 reintroduced refund of VAT occasioned by excess credits arising from tax withheld by appointed withholding tax agents through an amendment to section 17 of the VAT Act 2013.
The amendment allowed a person who within a period of thirty six months (36) prior to commencement of the said provision had credits arising from withheld tax to make an application for a refund of the excess tax within 12 months from the commencement date of 23rd July, 2019.
Taxpayers seeking clarification and facilitation are advised to contact the Contact Centre on Tel: 020 4 999 999, 0711 099 999 or Email email@example.com.
Earlier in June 2020, KRA reported that it has Ksh24 billion in refunds to Kenyans as part of Ksh36 billion claims owed to Kenyans.
The refund claims rose by 67.4% from the 2019/20 financial year which was Ksh14.1 billion.
President Uhuru Kenyatta had instructed KRA to pay outstanding VAT refunds and allocated Ksh10 billion in support.
“I hereby order and direct that the Kenya Revenue Authority shall expedite the payment of all verified VAT refund claims amounting to Ksh10 Billion within 3 weeks; or in the alternative, allow for offsetting of Withholding VAT, in order to improve cash flows for businesses,” he stated on March 25.
The current VAT refund scheme in Kenya provides for VAT refunds in three instances - refund of tax on bad debts, tax paid in error, and excess credits as a result of zero-rated supplies, the latter being the most common reason for VAT refunds.