The country’s current ETR Structure is strengthened by the new TIMS compliant ETR Machine.
It is preloaded with a number of features that will simplify revenue submission by businesses and, in turn, simplify the government’s revenue collection process. This will be accomplished in a number of ways, including:

  • The traders ERP, point-of-sale system or billing management systems will be integrated with TIMS compliant devices.
  • Real-time or near to real-time standardization and authentication of tax invoices sent out by VAT traders.
  • Seamless integration with iTax .
  • Through the Tax Invoice Checker on the iTax portal or Mobile app, officers, traders, and the general public can confirm the legitimacy of a tax invoice.

Conceptual framework

KRA TIMS Concept

The TIMS's goals.

The overall goal is to reduce VAT fraud, increase tax revenue, and increase VAT compliance.

TIMS compliant device requirements for registered Value Added Tax taxpayers

Every VAT registered person is required by the regulations to replace their current ETR machines with new TIMS compliant devices linked to the KRA online system in order to comply with TIMS (iTax). By doing so, the registered person would be able to verify invoices and send the data to KRA systems in real time or almost real time.

The new TIMs Compliant Devices will need to be online at all times because the transmission will take place in real time. Since invoice validation does not require an internet connection, traders are advised to carry on with their operations even if the internet is disrupted. Internet connection is only necessary for invoice transmission, so as soon as it is established again, any invoices created during the interruption will be sent right away to KRA.

Who is qualified to adhere with TIMS compliant devices?

According to the law, traders and businesses must register for value added tax if they make at least KSH 5 million annually or anticipate doing so (VAT).

How do I get integrated with TIMS compliant devices?

  • Each VAT registered trader will be required to obtain this KRA approved TIMS devices (also known as a Control Unit) as an independent or integrated component in order to enable the seamless transmission of invoice data to TIMS.
  • One of the top TIMS integration solution providers, Your Apps Ltd, specializes in KRA’s TIMS Device integrations and offers a variety of ready-to-use TIMS integrated Add-ons.
  • Your Apps Ltd can help you integrate your ERP, Point of Sales (POS), accounting and other applications to the KRA’s TIMS devices.
  • Your Apps Ltd is an approved Value Added Reseller for Various KRA approved TIMS devices in the market.


What is TIMS

The Tax Invoice Management System (TIMS) replaces the present Electronic Tax Register (ETR) system, which was implemented in 2005.

It will improve electronic tax invoice administration by standardising, validating, and transmitting invoices to KRA in real-time or near real-time.

What are the key features the public should look for in a tax invoice?

 The following are the key features of a valid invoice:
  • PIN and Name of the trader;
  • Time and Date of the Invoice;
  • Invoice Serial Number;
  • Buyer PIN (Optional)
  • Total Gross Amount;
  • Total Tax Amount;
  • Tax Rate;
  • Total Net Amount;
  • Unique Register Identifier;
  • Digital Signature (QR Code);

Taking into consideration the transition period, the new features e.g. the QR Code will only be visible once a VAT-registered trader is using the Tax Invoice Management System.

NB: The QR Code will only give a result where the invoice has been transmitted to KRA.

KRA approved TIMS ETR Invoice Template

Who is required to buy these new generation ETR machines

The requirements are applicable to all VAT-registered taxpayers.

What are the prices of ETR machines in Kenya?

The prices vary from supplier to supplier, there are also options for upgrades available in the market. The new generation machines or ETR can cost anywhere between Kenya shilling 40,000 to 100,000 and above.

What type of ETR or Control unit is suitable for me

Depending on the usage you can opt between Four options available in the market.

  • Type A or ETR– This is suitable for small businesses doing manual billing and has no software to integrate.
    There are few options for Type A,
    • Mobile ETR – A small compact design manual Electronic Tax Register machine with Wifi, LAN, GPRS and other communication options. The compact design allows the users to use ETR on the go and takes minimum space. Ideal for users with fewer bills daily.
    • Desktop ETR – A robust designed manual Electronic Tax Register machine with options for Wifi, LAN, GPRS and other communication modes for quick transfers. The Desktop Etr has a bigger keypad allowing users to key in the codes faster and do the manual billing.
  • Type B Fiscal Device– Retailers using POS systems for their quick cash billing require a Type B fiscal printer or control unit for their outlets. The Fiscal Device is capable of doing quick processes due to its high processing speed and efficiency. Type B also comes in various forms
    • Fiscal Printer – Allows users to print receipts directly to the KRA-approved TIMS fiscal device cum printer. This fiscal device reduces hardware costs by having printers within the Control Unit.
    • Mobile Printer – As the name suggests the mobile printer is flexible to be carried around or integrate into mobile applications and use on the go. Mobile printers generally come with Wifi and GPRS options. These small printers help users to either use it as a handheld or connect it to the belt for better handling.
    • Control Unit – With the option of allowing multiple cashier points to connect the Control unit is one of the best cost-saving options when it comes to Retail outlets. The Control unit can be used with a network or other options available in the device.
  • Type C:- The traders using ERP or accounting systems with a need for network and multiple connection options are supposed to be buying Type C which can be easily integrated into their systems.
  • Type D – These ETR machines are a combination of Type A, B and C generally the device is configured as per user needs and is suitable for all types of business entities

How do you capture other charges or levies, are these values transmitted to TIMS?

Generally, the hospitality industry has a 2% Tourism levy and other service charges, some of the ETR in the market does allow you to enter other charges or levies to be included in the price, but the same is not transmitted to TIMS. For purpose of transmitting data to TIMS, other charges or levies will be not included in details that are transmitted for accounting of VAT.

How to integrate Discounts/Rebates ?

when integrating your systems with Kra-approved TIMS devices, it is advised that your unit price shall be reduced by the value of the discount or rebate allowed. All discounts or rebates provided should be accounted for as per Section 13(3) of the VAT Act 2013.

Can I issue a bulk credit note?

No, you cannot issue a bulk credit note, Section 16 (6) of the VAT Act 2013 indicates every credit note requires users to refer to the invoice on which the supply was done.

Can I issue invoices in Foreign Currency?

Yes, you can issue invoices in Foreign Currency, but according to Section 23 of the Tax Procedures Act, the unit of currency in books of account, tax returns, and tax invoices must be in Kenya shillings. Taxpayers are recommended to change their foreign cash into Kenyan shilling equivalents using the day’s CBK mean rate. The foreign currency values may show on the invoice, but for tax reasons, the Kenya shilling values will be used.

Can we still do payment disbursement in our invoices?

The agent’s commission or fees for services given are taxable. However, any expenses paid on the client’s behalf are exempt from VAT. The specifics of the payout may appear on the invoice sent by the agent to their customer for services delivered. Refer to the 11th February 2021 public announcement


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