KRA plan to keep an eye on social media has celebs, Kenyans in a tizzy

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By Kirsten Kanja | 6 months ago
KRA Commissioner General Githii Mburu. [Courtesy]

News that Kenya Revenue Authority is eyeing social media accounts to fish out tax evaders has elicited intrigue, confusion and humour.

The comedy came in the form of memes, which made rounds on social networking sites like WhatsApp and Facebook, and the confusion was clear; how would the taxman determine who is living beyond their means through posts?

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Commissioner-General Githii Mburu announced on Monday in an interview with a local publication that the agency would prowl social media streets, keeping an eye out for luxurious lifestyles including expensive cars, parties, and vacations.

“In the social media, we have some people posting some 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," Mburu said, adding that the government agency had a dedicated team that will smoke out tax cheats.

The report said that KRA had already been using various databases in the quest to curb tax evasion. These include import records, bank statements, motor vehicle registration details, power records and water bills.

Kenyans on Twitter were quick to make fun of this news, with memes showing how quickly people would be taking down flashy posts and the tricks they would have to go through running from the officers creeping around social media.

KRA Agent: Hey guys. Vacation thread. I'll start

Vulture, an American magazine looked at the correlation between the musical genre and high-end brands in their study, Hip-Hop and High Fashion: Unpacking the Cultural Contradiction.

“Hip-hop serves as the perfect vessel through which these icons reinvent themselves, presenting the myth of both the hustle and living large—telling a story as old as time—started from the bottom now we here. This myth is one that lends itself well to perceived exclusivity and desirability,” the report reads in part.

KRG The Don, a popular DanceHall artiste, enjoys flaunting his flashy lifestyle on social media.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

And yesterday, KRA said there has been a steady rise in the number of individual taxpayers rushing to verify their tax compliance status this week. 

“This week, we have seen a more than 60 per cent rise in the number of tax compliance certificates applications lodged on the online i-Tax platform,” said KRA Deputy Commissioner in charge of Marketing and Communications Grace Wandera in a statement.

She said the adoption of technological solutions to complement traditional revenue collection tools is geared at enhanced compliance efforts that focus on ensuring taxpayers file returns and pay correct taxes.

 

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