KRA Says Kenyans Posts on Social Media Have Inspired Tax Compliance
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has confirmed a significant rise in the number of individual taxpayers it says are verifying their tax compliance status this week. This has been attributed to recent media articles confirming that the authority is increasing the use of social media monitoring for tax compliance surveillance.
Speaking when she confirmed the notable spike in tax compliance requests, KRA Deputy Commissioner in charge of Marketing and Communications, Grace Wandera, said KRA is actively utilising technological solutions, including social media monitoring tools.
She explained that the adoption of these solutions to complement traditional revenue collection tools is geared at enhanced compliance efforts that focus on ensuring taxpayers file returns and pay correct taxes. The article published earlier this week revealed that KRA officers are now actively scouring the web looking for Kenyans who are posting luxury vehicles, throwing lavish parties and making expensive purchases, in efforts of finding out whether these lifestyles match their tax returns.
Wandera added that as part of the KRA 8th Corporate Plan, the Authority is progressively adopting modern technologies to support revenue mobilisation strategies. KRA has already adopted Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Mining contemporary technologies. This is all part of additional measures the taxman is employing to guarantee that its revenues meet an ambitious target of Kshs. 2.5 trillion in 2023/24.
In what is rare and unprecedented from government, she singled out Kenyans on Twitter (KoT) among other online content creators, who have actively conceptualised witty content on KRA engagements with taxpayers, saying such posts positively influence tax compliance awareness.
READ ALSO: 7 Premium Bars in Nairobi
“Within the confines of the law, we do apply social media scans among other technological tax compliance surveillance systems. This week, we have seen a more than 60% rise in the number of tax compliance certificates applications lodged on the online i-Tax platform,” Ms Wandera said. An interesting statement to make, considering monitoring of populations the world over has often raised eyebrows with regards to privacy concerns for citizens.
Last month, KRA collected Kshs.154.383 Billion against a target of Kshs.142.285 Billion, recording an impressive 108.5% performance.
As the use of digital media increases exponentially, Kenyans can expect enhanced surveillance of their online activities, as only last month, Kenya’s Interior Ministry also announced the establishment of a National Computer and Cybercrimes Committee which it says is aimed at stopping cybercrime, and particularly the ‘misuse of social media’.
Image Credit | B-Club Nairobi revellers