Millions of Kenyans may lose access to critical public services starting September 1st when the KRA has vowed to deactivate all PINs that have not been migrated to the new online iTax platform.
The notice also warns those who have migrated their PINs but are not filing or are filing nil or no returns despite evidence that they have been earning an income.
However, lawyers have argued that a Personal Identification Number (PIN) is a right to every citizen and can not be denied.
“KRA does not issue PINs to citizens as a favor but as provided for in law, in the same way, the Department of Registration of Persons issues Identity Cards or Passports,” said Nairobi lawyer Nashon Aluoka.
According to KRA records, there are 10.6 million registered taxpayers but only 5.8 million have migrated to iTax. In 2016, only 2.4 million people filed their returns.
KRA stated that although millions of PINs will be deactivated, those taxpayers who decide to comply and re-apply for iTax registered PINs will get the same ones they had since personal information remains the same.
“Upon fulfillment of compliance requirements, the same PIN will be reactivated. Taxpayers (will) maintain their PINs initially allocated as the supporting documents used for registration do not change,” the taxman said.
“There is no penalty for PIN reactivation,” KRA said, adding any penalties accrued by non-compliant taxpayers will have to be settled before their accounts are restored.