Kenya ‘to monitor telecoms traffic’ so it can impose higher taxes

Kenya ‘to monitor telecoms traffic’ so it can impose higher taxes

Peter Ndegwa Safaricom.jpg

Kenya’s tax authority is to install its own technology so it can track and tax voice, internet and SMS traffic.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) said it questioned the declarations made daily by telcos on their revenues, and wanted to install a “technological tool to combat fraud and obtain the real tax value that it considers it is losing”.

Commissioner-general Githii Mburu said: “We do not want to rely on the information provided to us by telecom operators. We want to go out there and see for ourselves so that the deduction can be made daily.”

Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa (pictured) said, according to the Ecofin news agency, that “if there are any changes that the KRA would like to make regarding wallet monitoring, it must be allowed. By law, we will comply with any request lawfully made by the authority.”

The KRA has not said how much it expects to gain from the country’s telecoms companies, except to say that it aims to raise revenue from all sources in the order of 3 trillion Kenyan shillings (US$24.1 billion) and possibly as high as 4 trillion Kenyan shillings.

These forecasts are in the country’s draft 2023 budget policy statement.

Githii Mburu said taxes due by telecom operators will allow the KRA to obtain enough revenue to “relieve the government’s borrowing burden”.


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