NAIROBI – The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is monitoring social media for Kenyans who display lavish lifestyles.
This is in bid to crack down on those who evade paying taxes yet live extravagant lifestyles and post to social media.
Those found culpable risk travel bans, collection of duty directly from their suppliers and bankers and even prosecution.
KRA sleuths target Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, which are sites frequented by most celebrities.
These are sites where individuals post their luxurious cars, expensive parties and lavish lives.
According to KRA Commissioner-General Githii Mburu, the time has come for everyone to pay their fair share of taxes, including socialites and other individuals who display their opulence on social media.
“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,” Mr Mburu said in an interview with the Business Daily.
“We have our officers looking, they have gadgets. They key in very quickly (the number plate) to check. We are working exceptionally hard,” he said.
KRA will also be scrutinising information from bank statements, import records, motor vehicle registration details, Kenya Power records, water bills and the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCCA) to reveal tax cheats.
KRA will also investigate individuals building luxurious homes without revealing the sources of their wealth.
“We know you can build a house from loans. But that loan must be repaid from somewhere. We are following all those applying for meters,” says Mburu.
In the last three months, revenue performance has surpassed the target by Kshs. 16.7 billion translating to annual revenue growth of 26.8 percent.