Kenya: Taxman's Plan to Mine Telecom Data Sparks Row

5 October 2018

Telecoms

Hospital payrolls, the National Construction Authority records and telecoms data have become the taxman's new hunting grounds in its ongoing crackdown on tax cheats, it was announced Monday.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), which is facing a mountainous task of raising enough revenues to finance President Uhuru Kenyatta's Sh2.97 trillion budget, is hoping that information from these sources will boost its quest to unearth undisclosed income sources and boost its revenue collection.

Upon accessing the data, KRA hopes to probe and audit individuals whose transactions are not consistent with their declared incomes or filed tax returns.

KRA commissioner-general John Njiraini said the agency is turning to use of technology to bring more Kenyans on board and expand the tax base.

"The tax base expansion strategy focuses on tapping into the potential provided by technology to identify and bring into the tax net those engaged in gainful business and who ought to be paying tax, but are not," Mr Njiraini said during the launch of KRA's annual tax sensitisation month in Nairobi. "By applying this strategy, we anticipate to net an additional 500,000 taxpayers from whom we expect to collect approximately Sh60 billion in the current year," he said.

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