By Faith Nyasuguta
Kenyans who flaunt their wealth and lavish lifestyles on Facebook, Instagram, snapchat and even Twitter, are being closely watched by the tax man.
Social media posts showing luxurious cars, fancy homes and lavish parties will be routinely monitored by the Kenya Revenue Authority officers on the look-out for potential tax cheats, cautioned its Commissioner General Githii Mburu
“In the social media, we have some people posting some nice things. You would see some posting nice shoes, nice houses, cars taking their families to nice places,” Mburu told Kenya’s Business Daily during an interview.
“Here we are not sleeping, when we see those, we see taxes.”
He revealed that there are officers whose focus will be to expose tax cheats via social media platforms.
“Our officers have gadgets. When they see a big car passing, they key in the number plates to check. We are working exceptionally hard,” he said.
The new move will be a big blow to socialites who are renowned for posting every single thing they engage in during vacations or work.
Some are synonymous with splashing their luxurious lives on social media with big cars, homes and fancy hotels.
The tax man now says if one’s posts do not match what you pay to the government, you risk travel bans and prosecution.
Since time immemorial, tax evasion has been in existence.
And with time, technology and easier movement of people and goods, the vice has become costlier and more complex to countries.
Reports show that Kenya alone could be losing hundreds of billions in lost tax revenue from tax evasion schemes annually.
In 2020, KRA launched a web-based anonymous reporting solution dubbed iWhistle in an effort to counter tax cheats.
The KRA iWhistle solution allows the public to anonymously report and provide tax crime leads.