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Taxman demands PINs of pension scheme members

Times Tower
KRA head office at Times Tower in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has demanded pension schemes supply tax details of their members and their beneficiaries in a move likely to expand its data as it increases surveillance to nab tax cheats.

Consequently, pension firms have begun writing to members to fulfil KRA’s request.

“We would appreciate if you sent recent copies of your ID and KRA PIN certificate for our record keeping,” said a pension’s agency to a member in the notice seen by the Business Daily.

“We would also like to update your beneficiary information. Please include their correct names, birth dates, phone numbers and email addresses, birth certificates, ID copies and KRA PINS where necessary.”

KRA had earlier announced bids to gain access to bank and mobile money records as part of the effort to smoke out businesses and individuals who have been understating incomes to reduce tax burden. The move elicited protests from privacy lobbies.

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The taxman early this year also turned focus on payments made to local doctors by 12 global firms that offer insurance cover to Kenya’s wealthy businessmen and expatriates in the ongoing crackdown against tax evasion.

KRA, in a notice to local insurance brokers, demanded a record of doctor payments made by the foreign-based underwriters that include US and European firms to enable it calculate taxes due from medical providers and practitioners linked to them.

Last month it emerged KRA will start getting real-time data on motor vehicle purchases, property deals and real estate investors seeking electricity meters after integrating its system with other agencies in a high-tech war against tax cheats.

The taxman is integrating its system with third parties like Kenya Power #ticker:KPLC, National Construction Authority, the National Transport and Safety Authority and other agencies for speedy access to data on taxpayers’ spending patterns.

The move came as KRA, which has perennially missed collection targets, is looking to seal revenue leaks against the backdrop of ever higher collection targets set by the Treasury.

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