TREND

KRA's planned social media audit jerks taxpayers

Reports steady rise in individuals seeking to know their status.

In Summary

•Kenyans are awash with the use of social media platforms to monitor lifestyles and possible tax evasion.

•KRA says it is actively utilising technological solutions, including social media monitoring tools.

KRA staff assist members of the public to file tax returns at a support centre/FILE
KRA staff assist members of the public to file tax returns at a support centre/FILE
Image: FILE

The much debated use of social media to monitor lifestyles and catch up with tax evaders has lead to increased inquiries on compliance, Kenya Revenue Authority now says.

It says there is a steady rise in the number of individual taxpayers seeking to know their tax compliance status.

KRA Deputy Commissioner in charge of Marketing and Communications Grace Wandera said KRA is actively utilising technological solutions, including social media monitoring tools.

She added that the adoption of technological solutions to complement traditional revenue collection tools is geared at enhanced compliance efforts, that focuses on ensuring taxpayers file returns and pay correct taxes.

Kenyans have however turned the KRA approach into social media jokes trying to justify how difficult it is for the taxman to use social media updates to narrow down on high spenders not paying taxes.

“Dear kra the cars you see us posting on social media is (sic) normally hired, we also dress well on social media to gain confidence and intimidated our peers if you come to the ground you will be shocked itabidi nyinyi ndo mtatulipa, ” tweeted @mukhwana_mark   

KRA said it is progressively adopting modern technologies to support revenue mobilisation strategies.

It has already adopted Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and data mining contemporary technologies.

Wandera singled out to praise Kenyans on Twitter (KoT) among other online content creators who have actively conceptualised witty content on KRA engagements with taxpayers, saying such posts; positively influence tax compliance awareness.

"The spike is commendable as it means taxpayers are willing to comply, and KRA is at hand to provide the necessary support," Wandera said.

She said within the confines of the law, KRA applies social media scans among other technological tax compliance surveillance systems.

"This week, we have seen a more than 60 per cent rise in the number of tax compliance certificates applications lodged on the online i-Tax platform,” Wandera said.

Enhanced compliance efforts saw KRA collect Sh154.4billion against a target of Sh142.3billion, recording an impressive 108.5 per cent performance, it says.

The taxman is expected to collect Sh1.76 trillion in 2021/22 and up to Sh2.5 trillion by 2023/24 financial year.