Taxman, KRA Now Targets Kenyans ‘Living Large’ In The Social Media
KRA Tax Cheats: The Kenya Revenue Authority has trained its eyes on Kenyans showing off their wealth on social media. According to the KRA Commissioner General James Githii Mburu, the taxman will be seeking to tell if people who show off on social media pay taxes that match their lifestyles.
In a local daily, Githii said that officers from the KRA are now spending time on social media, trolling Kenyans posting photos of luxurious cars, throwing expensive parties, living lavishly to ensure their taxes are in tandem with their image.
Those found to be in be absconding their tax obligations risk travel bans, collection of duty directly from their suppliers and bankers and prosecution.
“In the social media, we have some people posting some nice things. You would see some posting nice houses, cars, taking their families to nice places and so on. Here, we are not sleeping, when we see those, we see taxes,” Githii told a local daily. “We have our officers looking, they have gadgets. They key in very quickly (the number plate) to check. We are working exceptionally hard.”
Githii further added that the new tactic is part of a larger armory that includes spying on bank statements, import records, motor vehicle registration details, Kenya Power records, water bills and data from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCCA). “We know you can build a house from loans. But that loan must be repaid from somewhere. We are following all those applying for meters,” he said.
“We have access to IFMIS and we want to see anyone being paid by government; is he or that business paying taxes? We are also able to work with other third parties like Kenya Power,” he said, adding that he wonders if fuel guzzler owners on roads pay their taxes whenever a high end vehicle passes him.