A lot of us have been struggling with the new iTax system for a while now. Most problems we have been able to handle, with the help of KRA but others keep cropping up every now and then. This post is focused on yet another problem that like us, some of you might have encountered trying to submit your returns on iTax for the first time. So this month we tried to do our returns using iTax and we got this annoying error message:
Any of the previous return period(s) return has not been filed for this taxpayer. Please file all the required previous return period(s) return in order of return period to file this return.
Now, if you are like me, this is where paranoia checks in because the first thing you will think of is that you might end up being fined as apparently you have not submitted your returns for the previous months!
Do not worry! Chances are you have already submitted all these returns, only that you submitted them with another system. iTax here thinks you are behind. This happens when you register your company on iTax but you do not immediately use it to submit your returns so it thinks that you owe some returns. The system now needs to be told that you have already submitted these returns, only that you submitted them using a different method and only KRA officers can be able to do this.
So, this is what you need to do in order to get to the right person at KRA so that they can help reset your account and you can be able to successfully submit your returns:
- Company PIN number
- Prepared PAYE/ VAT return in a flash disk of on your email (that zip file tat you get after you are done preparing the return and you have validated it and it had successfully been saved).
- ID card (to get into the building)
- Preparation time: 10 – 30 minutes (to prepare the ‘test’ return).
Take some time and prepare your tax return for the month you are intending to make a payment for. Validate and save it on a flash disk or on your email when you are done.
On a day of your choosing, preferably before the 9th of the month (as this is the deadline for submitting PAYE), visit KRA holding you ID at hand for the guards at the entrance – if you have a device; a laptop, Ipad…and the likes, remember to register it at the entrance and DO NOT lose the sheet of paper that you are given. You will need to give this back when exiting the premises so as to confirm that the device you are carrying is actually the one you came in with.
This next step is the catch…”DO NOT go and line up at the tax obligations area on the Ground Floor” (you will line up here for hours only to be sent somewhere else where you could have been helped in 5-10 minutes). Instead, proceed straight away to the 18th Floor!
Note: The 18th floor DOES NOT have a direct lift to it! You will be stuck in that lift for ages wondering how come your floor keeps being skipped! Be clever and press 17th Floor or 19th Floor then take the stairs to the magic 18th floor otherwise hidden!
After the guard at the front desk at the 18th Floor records your details, he/ she will direct you to one of the KRA officers.
Here, simply tell them that you want your dates reset so that you can be able to submit your returns on iTax and then give them your company PIN number. The officer should then reset the dates for you, but ensure that he/she resets the dates for all the tax obligations that you have. You do not want to go back to KRA before the 20th again, to get your VAT submission dates reset.
After they are done, it is good practise to test that it actually works, thus the ‘test’ return that you had prepared and carried with you. Give the officer this return file and ask him to submit for you. If everything is okay, the return should successfully be submitted and you or someone in your company should receive an email confirming receipt of this return and your Payment e-slip attached.
When you are done with this, then you can proceed to the bank to make your payment, like you have been doing with all your other returns!
My two cents: First, try and prepare your returns earlier on in the month so that you can be able to find and sort out some of these issues and secondly, give iTax a try while KRA are still running ITMS alongside iTax so as to save yourself trouble when they completely shift. Some of these procedures are only troublesome to begin with but once you get them right, then the rest is much simpler!!