How to File Withholding Tax in Kenya

It is that time of the year again when we are supposed to file our returns again. However, filing withholding tax is a little bit technical compared to the filing of Nil returns. In this article, we are going to do a step by step guide on how to file your returns if you have withholding tax certificates.

How to file withholding tax in Kenya

Step 1

The first is to log into the iTax portal.

You will need:

a) PIN

b) Password

If you are unable to remember your password, please click on forgot a password.

Step 2

  • Once logged into iTax account
  • Go to my ledger tab
  • Select General ledger
  • Here you will find a list of all the taxes paid

NB: All withholding taxes paid will start with KRAWHT….. Write down all the tax amounts for the paid withholding tax, and you will need them for step 3.

Eg. Say I paid withholding tax for four months in 2018 that may be:

  • Jan – Ksh 1409
  • April-Ksh 1752
  • Nov- Ksh 1387
  • Dec- Ksh 1308

Step 3:

  • Go to returns
  • Select file returns
  • You will be redirected to another tab as shown below

After downloading the excel sheet, click on it to open

Step 4

The excel sheet will look like this

  • Click on enable editing on the topmost part
  • Then click on enable content
  • You will now be able to edit the sheet
  • On the sheet,
  • Fill your pin no, and tax period
  • For No 7. On whether you have any other employment income respond with Yes, to open the other tabs such as profit and Loss

Step 5

The next step is to click on the Profit and loss account

Go back to step 2 and calculate a total of all withholding tax certificates paid

Ie.  Jan – Ksh 1409

     April-Ksh 1752

     Nov- Ksh 1387

     Dec- Ksh 1308

Totals =   Ksh  5856

NB: Withholding tax is not final tax according to KRA

The next step is to calculate your Gross Profit

5%     – 5856

100%  – ?

Gross Profit = 5856/0.05 = 117120

From here you need to get the amount of money you incurred in expenses:

Gross Profit – Profit = Expenses

Gross Profit   117120



Tax               5856

Profit – 100%

Tax – 10%

So then = 5856 – 10%

                   ? – 100%

Profit = 5856/10= 58560

Therefore expenses = 117120 – 58560 = 58560

So then how do we minimize our tax liability?

  1. Through subdividing the profit amount into our expenses
  2. Through subtracting/ Lessing the already paid Withholding tax

Lets now go back to our Profit and loss account on the excel sheet

  • Fill in the Gross profit (117,120) on the ‘Other’ Column
  • Go to operating expenses: Subdivide Kes.58560 among most sensible expenses
  • These expenses may be: Computer expenses   – 18560

                                          Telephone 10,000

                                           Stationary 5,000

                                           Training and expenditure 3000

                                            Workshop 10000           

                                            Subsistence 12000

The balance should be equal to 58560

Step 6

Proceed to the next sheet that is the balance sheet

  • Put a zero on Capital
  • Proceed to cash and put one on bank
  • On Capital, reserves type 1 to balance everything

Assuming you do not have employment income proceed to the last tab on Tax computation

  • Defined benefits contribution type 0
  • For Personal relief is also 0
  • Withholding tax certificates input the totals we got above that is 5856
  • The balance at the end should be Zero
  • Proceed to click on Validate
  • A new dialogue box will appear telling you the doc is ready, click ok
  • Another dialogue box will appear indicating where the Zip file doc will be saved, click Ok

Step 7

Go Back to Itax

  • Go back to our itax tab
  • Then to Returns
  • Select file returns
  • Select type of file as Original
  • Input tax period that should be from 01/01/2018 to 31/12/2018
  • Click on upload file, select the zip file that was saved earlier
  • Tick the box to agree to terms and conditions
  • Then click submit

If successful, KRA will open a tab showing the acknowledgment report

Hurray!!!, you have done it.

Read also: How to file tax returns online on iTax

Mary Nzoka
Mary is one of the leading writers on Urban Kenyans. She is knowledgable on matters Kenya and has been able to educate many on this platform.

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