Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has announced the acquisition of geo-mapping technology to monitor landlords’ tax payments in major towns across the country.
KRA Commissioner for Legal Services and Board Co-ordination Paul Matuku told Business Daily that a block management system that uses a geographic information system (GIS) to outline buildings across the cities is on the way.
“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,” Matuku said.
He added: “It is a work in progress in that area (rental income tax) and we will bring all of them (landlords) under the tax net.”
Further to this, the taxman is also seeking to access landlords’ bank records on rental income and transactions with utility companies such as Kenya Power.
KRA says the block management system will classify estates into blocks of flats to separate tax-compliant landlords from evaders and those not in its tax net, as well as to detect new buildings. The taxman says owners of both commercial and residential properties will be under watch.
The move comes about two months after KRA announced it had acquired technology to scan activities of social media users in a bid 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.