The taxman has stepped up the onslaught on tax-evading landlords through the latest mapping technology, 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 geographic information system (GIS) to map outbuildings in various residences, a top official said.
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 and 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 is work in progress in that area (rental income tax) and we will bring all of them (landlords) under tax net.”
The KRA currently relies on its capability to feed financial transactions of individuals and businesses from third parties into its Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence (DWBI) platform to catch tax-evading property owners.
How will KRA determine how much rent I collect. I can tell them my occupancy is at 25%. Or 60% my tenants are delinquents. Therefore I collect 1m per year and claim I collected only 250K in rent. And lost it all to expenses.
Landlords wafinywe makende kabisa. Kuna neighbour wangu hufanya huko KRA, huwa analipa rent ata 25th (lakini huwa hapitishi mwezi). Landlord akimpeleka mbio huwa anamwambia ataenda huko kwa system ku-check kama PIN yake imekuwa ikilipa taxes zote…landi anakunja mkia.
Hizo vitu hurudisha jina ya landlord ata ukienda kubuy zile token za ku-print. Obviously mtu mmoja haezi kuwa ana-operate tokens 77 unless ni landlord. KRA ikitaka kufiinya landlords hakuna mahali wanaeza jificha.