Government to tame tax cheats via social media

Rice importer gets away with Ksh.516 million in tax dispute with KRA

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) will now monitor social media accounts of Kenyans posting lavish lifestyles on the platforms, but do not pay taxes, or pay less taxes for excuses of being unemployed.

KRA Commissioner-General Githii Mburu said his officers have embarked on tracing Kenyans posting photos of luxurious cars, holding expensive parties, and living lavishly to ensure their taxes concur with their image.

The Authority said the move will reduce tax cheats and improve the country’s tax collection since they are still grappling with the dynamics of contemporary tax evasion schemes.

“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,” Mburu told Business Daily in an interview.

The Taxman earlier said that investigations indicate that the country continuously lose billions of shillings to tax evasion schemes every year.

“In the last financial year, we successfully intercepted spirituous illicit products with an estimated tax loss of Kshs1.2 billion that were destined for local consumption.

We have profiled 1,309 individuals and companies with tax-loss estimated at approximately Kshs, 259 billion. These entities are earmarked for further investigations and legal action for non-compliance,” Mburu said in a statement.

KRA further stated that the move to track people online is not meant to punish anybody but to ensure that everyone pays their right share of taxes.

The taxman has established a team focused on smoking out tax cheats through sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

Additional reporting by Business Daily

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