Guide on how to file KRA nil returns

In Kenya, it is mandatory to file tax returns annually as long as you have acquired your KRA PIN number. That also applies to students and unemployed Kenyans who are required to file nil returns without fail. Want to know how to file KRA nil returns?

Before we dig deep into how to file KRA nil returns, let’s first learn what these nil returns are.

What are nil returns?

Nil income tax returns help the taxman to identify all taxpayers that fall below the taxable income or are unemployed and do not earn any salary such as university students. Why must I file nil returns?

Well, failure to file KRA nil returns attracts a hefty penalty fee. In the past, it used to be Ksh 1000, but the taxman reviewed this to KSh 10,000. So imagine having to pay 10,000 annually for something that will take you less than five minutes to complete.

According to KRA iTax returns figures, by the end of June 2019, KRA reported having collected Ksh 1.580 trillion as opposed to the targeted Ksh 1.435 trillion projected by the Treasury.

Furthermore, according to Kenya Revenue Authority, only 24 million employees and businesses did file their tax returns indicating that thousands of Kenyans failed to do so. Do not be in the latter category. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to file returns thereby avoiding the preventable fines set by the taxman.

Requirements for filing KRA Nil Returns

You need the following before filing your Tax returns on iTax:

  • Your KRA PIN
  • Your iTax account

The following guides will help if you have any issues with these two requirements:

  • How to open an iTax account
  • How to reset a forgotten KRA iTax password

How to file nil income tax return online for an individual in Kenya

Please note that you do not require an extra nil tax return form to file your nil returns as the process is just similar to that of filing the normal LKRA returns.

Furthermore, the development of iTax that went live in 2013 has made it easier for Kenyans to file their annual KRA tax returns. That is because you can do it at the comfort of your office or house without having to visit KRA offices.

1. Login to iTax

  • Visit
  • On the left-hand side, you will see an empty tab, enter your KRA Pin number or User ID here and click on continue.
  • Enter your password and key in the answer to the Security Stamp question (Security Stamp is something like 50+8=??)
  • In case you don’t remember your password, just click on forgot password located at the bottom right of the page and follow prompts to set a new password.


Source: UGC

2. Select File Nil Returns

  • After a successful login, you will be redirected to a page with a red menu top.
  • Click on the ‘Returns’ icon and a drop-down menu will appear; select the File Nil Returns option.
  • You will be required to fill in some information as indicated below.

Type: Self

Taxpayer Pin: Your Pin

Tax Obligation: Income tax Resident

  • After you’re done click on next.

3. Select Income tax- resident individual nil E-return

  • You will be redirected to a new page and you have to key in your KRA Personal Identification Number, Wife Pin (leave it blank if you’re not married), Return period dates which in this case in 2019 will be 01/01/2019 to 31/12/2019 (this is automated, once you click on the small calendar on your right).
  • Press the submit button after you are done filling the above information.

If the submission was successful, an e return acknowledgment receipt KRA will be generated on the platform. Click on download Return Receipt, and you will be done. The above procedure takes just a few minutes to complete provided that you have a stable internet connection on your electronic device.

KRA tax returns deadline 2019-2020

Please be aware that the KRA tax return deadline is normally on the 30th of June every year. For this reason, you can file your nil returns on or before that date. You can even do it now after you finish reading this article.

KRA intension to reconfigure iTax system for file of nil returns

Just recently, the Kenya Revenue Authority broadcasted that it intends to suspend the processing of nil tax returns. According to KRA, the move is aimed at stalling tax cheats. Following this new development, it is expected that the filing of returns that began on January 1 ending 30 June might experience some pile-up of filings in the suspended category.

All individuals that file nil tax returns are urged to exercise patience in case of any lags as the KRA Technical team works on re configuring the iTax system. Therefore, do file your KRA nil returns as soon as possible before the suspension comes into force just as I have done mine today. Let us know if the article was useful.

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