The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is reportedly pursuing landlords who declare rental income in a bid to get them to reveal additional private financial information for further taxation.
The tax authority has issued notices to landlords demanding bank account information, M-Pesa statements, and title deeds of land owned, claiming that they under-declared rental income.
Some sources have called this move entrapment and a violation of citizens’ privacy rights.
“I’m not a legal expert, but this is some form of entrapment. This is private information that should not be revealed unless there is a court order. Furthermore, I doubt private citizens qualify for such verification. I believe it is only companies,” said a landlord who requested anonymity when responding to the situation.
According to the same source, the KRA is struggling to determine which landlords own which properties, leading to these attempts to obtain private information.
The landlord further noted that doctors in private practice are also receiving similar notices, indicating a broader trend of KRA attempting to obtain more information from taxpayers.
While many taxpayers have no issue with paying taxes, they are concerned about the misuse or theft of the said public funds.
It is unclear whether KRA’s move to gather more information from taxpayers will help to address these concerns.
This move raises questions about the extent to which tax authorities can go in seeking information from citizens, especially in cases where such information may violate privacy rights.
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