USSD — Africa

How to access eTims via USSD

You can access eTims via the USSD code *222# on any network to register, create new customers and generate invoices for your business.

What is eTIMS?

eTimselectronic Tax Invoice Management System — is an electronic Tax management system that was introduced by the Kenyan government, through KRA — Kenya Revenue Authority — In 2023, under the Finance Act, the software solution is intended to a convenient, simple and flexible tax invoicing option.

How to use eTims on your phone

KRA has provided a USSD application to access eTims on any phone. You access eTims via *222# on any network either Safaricom, Airtel or Telkom.

Here are the 3 easy steps to get started:

  1. Dial *222#, and select 1 on the USSD menu to register
  2. After registration, you will receive a message stating you have successfully been registered for eTIMS
  3. Upon successful registration of PIN, you will also get a confirmation prompt

How to Pay KRA Tax Using eTIMS

  1. Dial*222#
  2. Select option 5 for Tax Payment (KRA)
  3. After you input amount, click on Send
  4.  If you click on Cancel, the USSD session ends

Any business can also build a USSD application like KRA using this tutorial.

What is an eTims invoice?

An eTIMS invoice is generated by the software solution for KRA taxinvoicing.

Here are some simple steps to register;

  1. On the USSD menu, choose Option 2 - Sales Invoice
  2. Click on Send
  3. Enter your ID Number
  4. Click Send
  5.  Enter the Year of Birth (YOB), confirm and click send.

What is the Difference between eTIMS Invoice and a Regular Invoice?

An eTIMS invoice contains additional details, particularly, the amount of tax payable to KRA, while a regular invoice hardly contains any of this information.

Also note that an eTIMS invoice is ideal for taxation, while a regular invoice just shows payment for goods or services.

Here are some quick steps to generate eTIMS invoice using your phone;

  1. Press *222#
  2.  Select number 2 for the sales invoice service
  3. Then key in customer name/ PIN number/ customer number
  4. Then proceed to Key in product/ service name
  5. Key in quantity Click on Send
  6. Key in price per item and Click on Send

eTims Invoice Confirmation

After keying in quantity and price per item, KRA will send you a confirmation with the following details;

  • The name of the user
  • The customer number
  • Product/ service name
  • Quantity and unit price
  • Total amount spent on goods or services

How to Download eTIMS Invoice

Upon confirmation;

  • You will receive an SMS from KRA on your successful creation of invoices
  • You will also receive an SMS with an invoice number, to confirm that the invoice and a link to the invoice template
  • If you click on the link, it will redirect you to the invoice
  • Click on “Download”


1. Who should use eTIMS?

  1. VAT-registered taxpayers: Those who haven't yet been onboarded and are experiencing difficulties integrating with TIMS ETR devices.
  2. Bulk invoice handlers: Taxpayers involved in large-scale invoicing who face capacity or performance issues during invoice transmission.
  3. VAT-registered taxpayers with integration challenges: Those struggling to integrate with TIMS ETR devices.
  4. Non-VAT registered taxpayers: As specified by the guidelines provided by KRA.

2. I am not registered for VAT. Should I also comply with eTIMS requirements?

Yes, as per a public notice issued by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) on 27 December 2023, all businesses, including those not registered for VAT, are required to electronically generate and transmit their invoices to KRA via the electronic Tax Invoice Management System (eTIMS) starting from 1st September, 2023. From 1st January, 2024, business expenditures not supported by a valid electronic tax invoice will not be deductible for income tax purposes.

To ensure smooth business operations and provide sufficient time for system adjustments, non-VAT registered taxpayers can onboard to the eTIMS platform until 31st March, 2024. During this onboarding period, penalties for not issuing electronic tax invoices will not be imposed on non-VAT registered taxpayers. Once onboarded, taxpayers must progressively enter manually generated invoices and receipts issued from 1st January, 2024, up to the onboarding date, into the KRA system.

3. Does eTIMS simplify the VAT Return filing process?

Yes, as per a public notice issued by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) on 28 November 2023, eTIMS simplifies the VAT return filing process. Starting from the January 2024 tax period, VAT returns will be pre-filled with tax information available to KRA. This is part of KRA's efforts to leverage technology and enhance the taxpayer experience.

To ensure the process works smoothly, taxpayers are reminded of their obligation to issue electronic tax invoices and transmit the invoice details to KRA as required by law. Input VAT claims not validated through TIMS/eTIMS or not matched against existing customs import declarations for import VAT claims will not be accepted. A list of approved eTIMS third-party system-to-system integrators is available on the KRA website to help taxpayers comply with electronic tax invoicing requirements.

The pre-filled VAT return will be a self-assessment return as specified in Section 28(4) of the Tax Procedures Act, CAP 469B. Taxpayers must confirm the accuracy of the pre-filled information before submitting their returns. KRA will conduct sensitization sessions for taxpayers on this simplified VAT return filing process and will continue to provide support to ensure compliance with electronic tax invoicing requirements.

4. If I already have the TIMS ETR device, am I required to onboard eTIMS?

VAT-registered taxpayers who have already adopted TIMS ETR devices can continue using them for invoicing and transmitting tax invoices to KRA. However, if you encounter technical issues with your TIMS ETR device, it is advisable to migrate to eTIMS to ensure seamless business operations. In such cases, you will need to retire or deactivate your ETR device by accessing the "TIMS Menu" in your iTax profile and selecting the "Retire Control Unit Device" submenu to initiate the process.

5. What are the timelines for complying with the requirement to have an electronic tax invoice?

All VAT-registered persons should already be onboarded on either TIMS or eTIMS, ensuring that all their invoices are issued electronically and transmitted to KRA without exception. For non-VAT registered persons, the onboarding onto eTIMS is ongoing and will continue until 31st March 2024. After onboarding, these taxpayers will need to progressively capture all manually issued invoices and receipts from 1st January 2024 up to the onboarding date into eTIMS.

Last updated
June 12, 2024
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