Kenyans on social media are known to be very opinionated and using any chance they get to floss for their lavish lifestyle and convince the general public that they are living the life.
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has put a spotlight on tweeps who will be posting their lavish lifestyle but cannot support their source of funds with tax records. KRA intends to follow up on people’s social media handles and countercheck with tax records to see whether they are tax compliant.
This is after KRA noticed that a lot of Kenyans are supposedly living good lives but their tax records don’t reflect the same.
“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,” KRA Commissioner-General Githii Mburu has said.
The taxman has been on the lookout for tax cheats and evaders with their mission to increase collection through various methods. They recently launched a service called iWhistle that offers a commission to any Kenyan who reports tax offences.
These efforts by KRA look successful so far, considering their recent report where they exceeded the revenue collection target for this year by Sh27 billion. In October alone, they collected Ksh154.3 billion against an initial target of Ksh142.2 billion.
KRA has set a team that will be closely browsing the internet on all social media platforms to identify these seemingly high net-worth individuals who have cultivated an expensive image through luxurious items and parties.
The KRA Commissioner-General also added that there are also many who are accumulating wealth and are building houses, purchasing homes, and driving heavy fuel consumption vehicles on the road. KRA will employ databases that take a look at relevant details from the bank, imports, power and water bill records, and even car registration details to curb them if they are tax evaders.
“We have our officers looking, they have gadgets. They key in very quickly (the number plate) to check. We are working exceptionally hard,” Mburu states.
This is an interesting development coming amid the government’s increased surveillance of online platforms in Kenya for other issues like social media bullying.