The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is set to deploy new technologies to boost revenues drawn from landlords in Kenya.
It will map out properties with the implementation of a Geographical Information System (GIS)-integrated block management system. The technology offers KRA an overview of residential properties particularly in urban areas.
Used in combination with KRA tools used to access other government databases and records, it is intended to curb tax evasion among landlords. The KRA has been pushing for expanded access to utility records and other third party data it currently relies on to track landlords.
The roll-out of the mapping tech is part of the taxman’s plan to meet its targets by widening the tax net. Landlords, High-Net Worth Individuals and small-scale traders feature prominently on the list of those KRA is keen on roping in.
Formal entities in the private sector have long taken issue with KRA’s focus on them on taxation, arguing that it leaves out numerous other avenues for tax collection ignored.
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“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.”
“It is work in progress in that area (rental income tax) and we will bring all of them (landlords) under tax net,” KRA Commissioner for Legal Services and Board Co-ordination Paul Matuku confirmed to Business Daily.
KRA further disclosed that it would be looking into developers with upcoming residential properties as well as landlords with existing properties deemed non-compliant.
“Block Management Strategy involves tax service offices mapping out their specific areas of jurisdiction into blocks and sub-blocks for better focus.”
“We will be targeting all existing landlords who are not tax compliant as well as those with upcoming buildings (both residential and commercial),” the taxman explained.
In the three years to June 2021, KRA surpassed its target of roping in 66,000 landlords as it brought in 76,025 into the tax net.
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