Man about town

Extra earning lessons from filing tax returns


In the last two weeks, I have made close to half a million shillings very easily; and, I am super pleased with myself. It all started in early June when Lucy came to my desk saying she hates filing tax returns. “It is so complicated!” she said. I told her it cannot be. “You only need to log into the system and use the documents we get from the office.”

She said: “Well, I have different sources of income and businesses and I am too busy to do it.” I jokingly told her: “You know I have tax experience, I can file them for you for a fee.”

She laughed and saying, “Trust me, you do this for me, I will pay you Sh100,000.

This was money I could not refuse and when I got home I set upon working on Lucy’s returns.

One thing that was clear to me was that she is serious about her side hustles: she owns four clothes shops in the city and has two dry-cleaning outfits.


I must say it was a lot of work and I worked late into the night. The next morning, I gleefully told her: “Consider it done as I shared with her the completion certificate.” She hugged me and said, “You are the best, here is the payment.” She gave me an envelope which contained new crisp notes totalling Sh100,000. She told me, “Some of my chama girls might need your services.” I told her to send them over.

Just like that, I found myself with extra clients who each paid Sh100,000 for my services. After filing the returns, I realised that I am not doing as well as other Kenyans in terms of side hussles.

One that caught my attention was shylocking. One of Lucy’s friends is a shylock. I could not help but ask Lucy: “I would love to know more about your friend who is a shylock.” Lucy gave me some long story about how her friend makes lots of money from “Kenyans who are living beyond their means.” She told me to arrange and meet her “on Saturday and she can tell you about her business.” So, last Sunday I met Joyce, the shylock. She was bubbly and quick to tell me about her business.

“Sometimes we make an average return of 20 per cent in three months,” she volunteered.

I had many questions about risk and defaulting, which she happily answered. Her final words were: Listen, why don’t you give it a shot with a little money and then see how it goes. Do not risk too much.”

I could think of no better time than now to take a chance. I decided that I would spend some of my new-found windfall on the shylock gamble and then see where it takes me.

We agreed that I would wire her Sh450,000 by Monday. I would spend some of the remaining money on placing some bets on the World Cup and on buying some new shoes for the children.

By the time the meeting ended, I had learned a lot about side hustles and the lifestyles of people in the city.

I hope this business pays off.