Kenya Revenue Authority will now pay whistleblowers who out cheats as it seeks to tighten the noose of individuals and companies failing to declare due taxes.
They have introduced a web-based anonymous reporting system that allows citizens to report tax evasion schemes and corruption-related malpractices at their convenience.
The system provides full anonymity to the informer as it auto-generates identity that an informer uses to log in and not only report but also follow up on the progress of their report.
Prior to this, Kenyan citizens would provide information through emails, phone calls, and walk-ins. However, while there were a number of complaints received the process was long, tedious, and cumbersome; and did not allow for anonymity and efficiency.
At present, the Act only prescribes a reward for the provision of information leading to the identification and actual recovery of unassessed duties or taxes. The plan comes amid a tightening noose by the taxman on tax cheats.
Faced with the huge task of improving revenue collection, KRA has set eyes on suspected tax cheats and tax avoiders following an order from President Uhuru Kenyatta in November 2018.
As part of the crackdown, KRA is expected to constantly monitor high-net-worth individuals whose lifestyles are not set in tandem with the taxes paid.
Every year, KRA loses millions in revenue due to tax evasion. The new initiative will mean that all tax evasion and corruption-related loopholes are sealed and revenue is not lost through unscrupulous members of the public.
The whistle reporting system is aligned to the KRA’s seventh corporate plan on enhancing revenue mobilization through robust intelligence collection and risk profiling.
The enforcement unit at KRA has sought to do this through various strategies including using databases such as bank statements, import records, motor vehicle registration details, electricity and power bills as well as data from KCCA to track potential tax cheats and evaders.
There is an incentive for members of the public who report tax evasion such as failure to pay taxes to the Authority by individuals, organizations, companies, manufacturers including income tax, Pay as You Earn (PAYE), Value Added Tax, Income Tax, Excise Duty and Import Duty.
Reports on tax fraud such as when an individual or business entity willfully and intentionally falsifies information on a tax return in order to limit the amount of tax liability will also be rewarded.
To do this all you have to do is go to the website at iWhistle.kra.go.ke and follow the instruction manual.