The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) now says it has brought on board geo-mapping technology in a bid to monitor city landlords’ tax payments.
According to the taxman, a block management system which uses a geographic information system (GIS) is on the way, which will outline buildings across the metropolises.
“We are investing in block management and geo-mapping systems to map out all these urban areas like Nairobi and Mombasa and get to know where these landlords are and who is paying what tax and who is not paying what tax,” Paul Matuku, KRA’s Commissioner for Legal Services and Board Co-ordination told Business Daily.
“It is a work in progress in that area (rental income tax) and we will bring all of them (landlords) under the tax net,” he added.
The crackdown also involves accessing landlords’ bank records on rental income and utility transactions with utility companies such as Kenya Power.
The block management system, KRA says, will classify city estates into blocks of flats to separate tax-compliant landlords from the defiant ones and those not in its tax net, as well as detecting new buildings.
Both commercial and residential property owners will be under watch, the taxman further states.
The announcement comes just two months after KRA stated that it had acquired technology to scan Kenyans’ social media activity in an effort to ensure their tax returns match their image.
“On social media, we have some people posting 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 said in November.
In a move to bring more people into the tax bracket and curb tax cheating and evasion, the authority said its officers would be on the lookout for users posting photos of high-end cars, throwing lavish parties, and showing off glamorous lifestyles.