No Escape: KRA To Deploy Drones

Written By Mary Mumbua  📝

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) intends to buy high-end drones to improve its tax surveillance of businesses. The taxman stated that it intends to commission two unmanned aircraft systems for aerial surveillance.

“The Kenya Revenue Authority invites bids from eligible candidates for supply, delivery, testing, and commissioning of two unmanned aircraft systems for aerial surveillance,” said KRA.

The drones will be part of a new tax surveillance system that will provide the state with real-time access to financial data, including sales returns, for scrutiny. KRA announced last month the installation of flow meters and CCTV cameras in alcohol factories in an effort to tighten supervision, ensuring the taxman round-the-clock data on manufacturer operations in order to combat tax evasion.

The mass custody flow meter will track high volumes of alcoholic beverages produced to maximise excise tax collected.

CCTV cameras will also allow the taxman to track what the firms are producing, by relaying data in real-time.

The technology is expected to complement the existing Excisable Goods Management System (EGMS) that facilitates tracking stamps on excisable goods along the supply chain to account for payment of taxes. In a bid to tighten supervision, KRA also announced that all electronic tax registers (ETRs) machines are required to be connected to its systems for monitoring daily sales.

The two systems will give KRA a view of goods as they leave the production line to the point of exchange between retailers and consumers collecting what is due at each point along the supply chain.

The law requires all businesses with an annual turnover of at least Sh5 million to have ETRs. Under the new system, the KRA will receive sales and invoice data from all registered firms and traders daily in a fresh push to boost revenue collections and curb tax evasion.

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Traders will also be required to seek the taxman’s permission to perform any other business the next day under the system, meaning incorrect or incomplete data logged the previous day could lock them out.