Kenya’s taxman now goes undercover to bust tax cheats in what promises to be the boldest crackdown

Kenya Revenue Authority
  • Kenya Revenue Authority is preparing to hire 1,000 intelligence and enforcement officers who will go underground and identify and arrest wealthy tax cheats.
  • The Taxman has already compiled a list of companies and wealthy individuals labelled high-risk tax debtors.
  • The staff have been given a target of raising Sh50 billion ($500 million) in the period ending June next year.

Desperate times calls for desperate measures and Kenya’s taxman is getting desperate with each passing day.

Faced with a tough call to meet tax targets and having come short several times, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has now resorted to going undercover in what promises to be the boldest crackdown on high net worth persons.

KRA has compiled a list of companies and wealthy individuals labelled high-risk tax debtors’ and will deploy its employees to sit the accounts departments of the firms to recover unpaid taxes.

“Enforcement measures include posting KRA officers as resident officers within the premises of high-risk debtors to monitor daily sales and ensure taxes are being paid,” KRA Commissioner for Domestic Taxes Department Elizabeth Meyo told Business Daily.

KRA’s new aggressive pursuit of tax cheats is anchored on the Tax Procedures Act, which empowers the agency to seek taxes directly from company sales and third parties like banks and suppliers as well as seize and auction property to recover unpaid duty.

To get the job done KRA is preparing to hire 1,000 intelligence and enforcement officers who will identify and arrest wealthy tax cheats. The agency has been allocated additional cash to hire the new staff.

The Kenyan parliament is on board and last year in November, the Parliament’s Budget and Appropriations Committee asked Treasury to provide an additional Sh2 billion ($20 million) to enable the taxman hire more employees.

It won’t be a walk in the park though for the new employees. The additional staff have been given a target of raising Sh50 billion ($500 million) in the period ending June next year.

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