The Kenya Revenue Authority will soon be able to keep track of landlords’ tax payments using a new geo-mapping technology. The agency says it is in the process of commissioning a block management system that uses geographic information system (GIS) to outline buildings.
“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’s Commissioner for Legal Services and Board Co-ordination, Paul Matuku told Business Daily.
“It is a work in progress in that area (rental income tax) and we will bring all of them (landlords) under the tax net,” he added.
KRA has implemented a number of measures to crack down on landlords evading the tax dragnet. Along with the new technology, the agency will also access landlords’ bank records to monitor their rental income and utility transactions with companies such as Nairobi Water and Kenya Power.
According to KRA, the geo-mapping technology will classify city estates into blocks of flats in order to distinguish tax-compliant landlords from rogue landlords and those not captured in the tax system, as well as discover new structures. This will include both commercial and residential landlords and property.
The new development comes a few months after the taxman announced that it would be going after social media users whose tax returns do not match their affluent images on social media.
“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.