eTIMS System to System Integration: Everything You Need to Know

Simplify your tax management with eTIMS, a cloud-based software designed for businesses in Kenya. Learn more about its functionalities and advantages.

Sep 6, 2023 - 19:17
eTIMS System to System Integration:  Everything You Need to Know
eTIMS System to System Integration: Here Is How To Do it Yourself

Yes, I know eTIMS from KRA rings a bell at the back of your mindThe Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has taken bold steps to streamline and modernize the process for VAT-registered businesses. One of the most significant developments is the introduction of the eTIMS System-to-System Integration. In this article, I will explain everything you need to know about this revolutionary system, exploring its features, benefits, and the various eTIMS solutions available to businesses. By the end of this article, you'll have a comprehensive understanding of how eTIMS is transforming the tax compliance landscape in Kenya.

Key Takeaways

  1. eTIMS is a cloud-based software designed to simplify tax compliance for VAT-registered businesses in Kenya.
  2. It offers multiple entry points, including client software, mobile apps, online portals, and system-to-system integration.
  3. eTIMS replaced TIMS due to its device-driven complexity, making tax compliance more accessible and affordable.
  4. The registration process for eTIMS is straightforward, and businesses can choose the solution that best suits their needs.
  5. System-to-system integration requires certification, and businesses can self-integrate or work with certified third-party vendors.
  6. eTIMS is a game-changer in tax compliance, offering simplicity, convenience, and flexibility to businesses of all sizes.

What eTIMS  

eTIMS, short for Electronic Tax Invoice Management System, is a software solution that simplifies tax compliance for VAT-registered businesses. This cloud-based platform was launched on February 1, 2023, marking a significant leap forward in Kenya's tax management system.

eTIMS Functionalities

eTIMS offers multiple entry points for taxpayers, ensuring flexibility and convenience. Here are the options:

  1. eTIMS Client Software: This desktop version is ideal for Large and Medium Taxpayers, VAT and non-VAT registered, and other eligible taxpayers. To be eligible, you must sell goods, possess a Windows-based computer (Windows 10.0.17 or later version, 2GB minimum RAM, 20 GB minimum storage), and not have an invoicing system.
  2. eTIMS Mobile Application: Geared towards small, micro, or newly registered taxpayers, this mobile app is a perfect fit if your annual turnover doesn't exceed KES 5,000,000. It's designed for service sector businesses with no stock management requirements. You only need an Android smartphone with version 8.0 or above and sufficient internal storage (8 GB or more).
  3. Online eTIMS: Tailored for service sector operators issuing fewer than 10 monthly invoices, such as rental property owners, transport service providers, and consultants. This web-based portal simplifies tax compliance for this specific category of taxpayers.
  4. System-to-System Integration: For businesses with automated billing/invoicing systems, eTIMS offers seamless integration with KRA through either an Online Sales Control Unit (OSCU) or Virtual Sales Control Unit (VSCU). OSCU suits entities with online invoicing systems, while VSCU is suitable for those with bulk invoicing requirements. Taxpayers can choose to undertake self-integration or work with a certified third-party vendor.

Why eTIMS Replaced TIMS

The transition from TIMS (Tax Management System) to eTIMS was motivated by several key factors. TIMS, being device-driven and complex, presented challenges for many VAT taxpayers. Here's a brief comparison:


Device-driven Software Driven
Difficult integration Easy integration via API
Expensive for small businesses Affordable for all business sizes

How to Register for eTIMS

The registration process for eTIMS is straightforward:

  1. Download the Akcnoldelement form from the KRA website and fill it out.
  2. Tick the terms checkbox.
  3. Scan and submit the form to KRA.
  4. Download and install the eTIMS software or app from the KRA website.

Acquiring eTIMS - Step by Step

For a deeper understanding of eTIMS acquisition, here are the essential steps:

  1. Copy of ID and Confirmation Form: To start, you need a copy of the ID of the Owner/Director of the company or Legal Representative. Download and fill out the Confirmation form, which must be signed by the Owner/Director or Legal Representative.
  2. eTIMS Client Software (For Windows, Android Tablet, and PDA): This solution is tailored for Large and Medium Taxpayers, both VAT and non-VAT registered. Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria mentioned earlier.
  3. eTIMS Mobile Application: Designed for small, micro, or newly registered taxpayers in the service sector. Your smartphone should meet the specified requirements.
  4. Online eTIMS: Eligible for service sector operators issuing fewer than 10 monthly invoices. Access the web-based portal to simplify your tax compliance.
  5. System-to-System Integration: If you have an automated billing/invoicing system, explore the OSCU and VSCU options. You can undertake self-integration or work with a certified third-party vendor.

Integration Options

Taxpayers can choose between self-integration or utilizing a certified third-party vendor to facilitate the integration. However, both options require a certification process.


If you opt for self-integration, follow these steps:

  1. Review Technical Specifications: Visit the eTIMS portal and review the technical specifications for OSCU and VSCU to understand how to integrate your invoicing system.
  2. Develop and Test Integration: Develop and test the integration using the eTIMS sandbox environment. Detailed step-by-step guides are available for download.
  3. Certification Process: Apply for certification by submitting the eTIMS Bio Data Form and the required documentation to the KRA eTIMS Operations Office.

Third-Party Vendor Integration

For third-party vendor integration, here are the key steps:

  1. Submit Documentation: Provide essential documentation, including business registration documents, business permits, national IDs for directors/partners/sole proprietors, and company/business tax compliance certificates.
  2. Technical Staff Qualifications: Demonstrate that your technical staff meets system development and administration qualifications.
  3. Technology Architecture Documentation: Present a comprehensive technology architecture documentation detailing how the integration between your Invoicing System and eTIMS will occur.
  4. Submit Integration Software: Submit the Trader Invoicing System (TIS) integration software on optical disk storage.
  5. Technical and Administrative Review: Undergo a thorough review by KRA, and upon successful integration and certification, an interim approval certificate will be issued for VSCU/OSCU integration.

Ready to Use and Install eTIMS?

To begin your journey with eTIMS, download and install the software based on the device applicable to you:

  1. eTIMS Multi-Paypoint (Windows) 
  2. eTIMS Paypoint (Windows)
  3. eTIMS Paypoint (Android)
  4. eTIMS Lite (VAT)
  5. eTIMS Lite (Non-VAT)

You can also access the online portal for added convenience. If you have any further questions or need assistance, please email the Kenya Revenue Authority at [email protected] or by phone at +254 20 4 999 999 or +254 711 099 999.

READ ALSO: KRA Customer Care: How to Easily Reach KRA Customer Care Contacts for Help


eTIMS System-to-System Integration is ushering in a new era of convenience and efficiency for tax compliance in Kenya. Whether you're a large corporation or a small trader, eTIMS offers tailored solutions to simplify your tax-related tasks. By embracing this innovative platform, businesses can reduce compliance costs, improve accuracy, and enhance efficiency. Take advantage of the eTIMS revolution and experience the future of tax compliance today.


Who should use eTIMS?

    • eTIMS is designed for VAT-registered taxpayers, bulk invoicing businesses, and those with automated billing systems.

What are the key benefits of eTIMS?

    • eTIMS offers real-time invoice transmission, reducing compliance costs and eliminating the need for multiple hardware purchases.

How do I register for eTIMS?

    • To register, download the eTIMS commitment form from the KRA website, fill it out, sign up on the eTIMS portal, and undergo a Know Your Taxpayer (KYT) interview.

What is the difference between OSCU and VSCU in eTIMS System Integration?

    • OSCU is suitable for entities with online invoicing systems, while VSCU is ideal for businesses involved in bulk invoicing, mainly when their invoicing systems do not continuously operate online.

Can I choose between self-integration and third-party vendor integration for eTIMS System Integration?

    • Yes, you can choose between self-integration and utilizing a certified third-party vendor. Both options require a certification process.

Where can I download and install eTIMS?

    • You can download and install eTIMS software based on your device type or access the online portal for added convenience. Links for downloads can be found on the KRA website.

Joseph Richard Joseph is a graduate of Mathematics and Computer Science (Applied Option). With expertise in Technology and Finance, he brings his knowledge to the field, demonstrating an authoritative understanding of these interrelated areas. Joseph is pursuing a Master's in Software Engineering, further expanding his skill set.