Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has introduced online Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) sessions in a bid to safeguard taxpayers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ADR sessions can now be held, uninterrupted through virtual facilities. The facilities bring together the taxpayer, the assessing Commissioner and a facilitator who chairs the session as would happen in a face to face ADR session.
This means that taxpayers with disputes can still be heard and get solutions without physically attending ADR sessions. The online session is cost effective and convenient to taxpayers as it covers a larger geographical area with the option of multiple individuals at different locations dialling in.
The Deputy Commissioner for Tax Dispute Resolution Rispah Simiyu observed that, “KRA can now connect with taxpayers and their agents from the comfort of their offices or homes through video/teleconferencing technology applications such as Zoom, Skype or Google hangouts to ensure business continuity, whilst keeping the safety and security of these platforms in mind.”
In a statement, KRA explained that the ADR was rolled out in June 2015 to complement litigation by providing amicable and timely settlement of tax disputes. Since its roll-out, ADR has seen an increase in efficient and amicable settlement of disputes.
The 2018/2019 financial year saw the sharpest spike in ADR applications where 502 applications were received. Of the 502 applications received, 237 cases with a revenue yield of Kshs8.102 billion were successfully resolved.