In an effort to increase tax revenues, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) planned to target mobile money transactions from October 2018. This would allow them to track taxpayers transactions and match them up with their tax remission data.
The plan was to go through data from at least 28.9 million active mobile customers as well as data from other financial institutions such as banks and data associated with key accounts such as school fees payments and real estate developments. This would help KRA nab the tax evaders and ensure that everyone paid their required tax amounts.
KRA saw this as a great model that would ensure compliance from citizens while helping to meet their objectives with taxpayers.
ICT CS Joe Mucheru also said that KRA had the legal mandate to access and make use of the mobile transactions data from mobile money operators, fintech companies and banks to help the tax collector meet its objectives by hitting projected tax volumes.
The Court of Appeal however, stopped the sections of the law that supported the move in 2018. KRA was therefore, not able to carry out its spying agenda.
According to Business Daily, the court has now lifted the ruling, and this means that KRA can now legally pry into your mobile money and banking transaction data to check if you are trying to cheat the system.
The law has been restored and is named Section 60 of the Tax Procedures Act. It tasks third parties to share useful data with the tax collector.
Any organization that does not comply with the law and withholds information will be fined Ksh1 million or face a three year jail term.
Documents belonging to suspected cheats will be searched and seized for further investigation.