Kenyans rush to comply as KRA eyes tax cheats on social media

Thursday November 11 2021

Taxpayers at the Kenya Revenue Authority’s Mombasa office. FILE PHOTO | NMG


The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has reported a 60 percent jump in taxpayers seeking compliance certificates after the agency revealed it was tracking rich Kenyans displaying lavish lifestyles on social media but paying little or no taxes.

The spike comes in the wake of a Monday article by the Business Daily indicating that the taxman is spending time on social media, trawling Kenyans posting photos of luxury and opulence.

The aim is to establish if the opulent lifestyle is matched with tax payment.

“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 percent rise in the number of tax compliance certificates applications lodged on the iTax platform,” KRA Deputy Commissioner for Marketing and Communications Grace Wandera said in a statement.

KRA is racing to bring more people into the tax bracket and curb tax cheating and evasion in the quest to meet targets.

The taxman has a team focused on smoking out tax cheats through sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.


Tax cheats risk travel bans, collection of duty directly from their suppliers and bankers, and prosecution in what is emerging to be the biggest crackdown yet on high-net-worth individuals.

Besides scouring social media sites, the Authority has been using various databases to pursue suspected tax cheats, among them bank statements, import records, motor vehicle registration details, Kenya Power records, water bills and data from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, which reveal individuals who own assets such as helicopters.