Legal experts have faulted the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) declaration that he will deactivate the Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) of non-compliant taxpayers. The move is not consistent with the law as it is illegal.
Lawyers said holding a tax PIN is the right not a privilege of every citizen that cannot be withdrawn by fiat without adhering to the due process. The point is KRA does not issue PINs to citizens as a favour but as permitted for in law, in the same way the Department of Registration of Persons provides Identity Cards or Passports. Only a court order can take away any one PIN whether tax compliant or not according to legal experts.
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This legal complication is furthered due to the fact that it is not clear on which law KRA will be relying on to take such punitive action that is likely to disrupt the lives of millions of Kenyan. The agency is adamant that it will on September 1 deactivate all PINs whose holders have not migrated to the iTax platform or failed to file taxes as required by law – throwing open a legal lacunae that may force employers to withhold the salaries of affected employees.