KRA To Track Tax Evading Landlords in new Technology

The KRA, (Kenya Revenue Authority)will now nab tax-evading landlords through the latest mapping technology.

This is in addition to accessing bank records on rental income and utility transactions with utilities such as Kenya Power.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is implementing a block management system that will use a geographic information system (GIS).

This will further map outbuildings in various residences, a top official said.

KRA System

The system will classify various estates into blocks of flats where the KRA will identify landlords who are tax-compliant and those not in its tax net, and detect new buildings springing up.

We are investing in block management and geo-mapping systems to map out all these urban areas like Nairobi and Mombasa.

We want to get to know where these landlords are and who is paying what tax and who is not paying what tax,” KRA Commissioner for Legal Services and Board Co-ordination Paul Matuku said in an interview.

“It works in progress in that area (rental income tax) and we will bring all of them (landlords) under the tax net.”

Real Estate Tax Cheats

Some 76,025 real estate owners were roped into the tax net in three years through June 2021, the latest data show, beating a target of 66,000 landlords it had set for the period.

That was also a growth of 29 percent more than 58,934 property owners recruited in the previous three years between July 2015 and June 2018.

The taxman is banking on the block management strategy to get hold of additional real estate owners in the coming years.

Landlords with annual rental income of between Sh288,000 (Sh24,000 per month) and Sh15 million (Sh1.25 million per month) are required to file a monthly tax return.

This is declaring the gross earnings rent from which tax payable is computed at the rate of 10 percent.

The taxman has in recent years come under fire from business lobbies such as the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

This is for over-burdening a few persons in the formal sector with taxes, while a majority of the population remains outside the tax bracket.

An estimated 6.1 million taxpayers had been registered on iTax by June 2021.

This is in a country with more than 19.6 million registered voters in the 2017 presidential poll.

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