THE Kenya Revenue Authority may soon make it a requirement for Kenyans to disclose their landlords while filling the annual tax returns. Treasury Permanent Secretary Joseph Kinyua said KRA will rely on information provided by tax payers in the returns to track down landlords who will then be approached to pay the necessary taxes. Currently, tax payers filling the returns always ignore the place asking them to give details of their landlords. "Tenants have an obligation," Kinyua said on the sidelines of a donor-government conference at KICC yesterday.
Though it is not a new policy, Finance Minister Njeru Githae reinforced in his budget statement last week the requirement that states that landlords must pay tax on rental income. The proposal has drawn opposition from various quarters with the argument that rents will go up. The Consumer Federation of Kenya has even threatened to take KRA and Treasury to court to stop the proposal.
Kinyua said the proposal was not introducing a new category of tax arguing that all taxable income above Sh10, 000 should be declared. Salaried employees are also required to declare all other incomes, the PS said. The PS added the pronouncement was meant to make KRA more proactive in taxing landlords, an requirement it has failed to implement in the past. "We are fighting tax evasion," Kinyua said. Githae said KRA would soon embark on mapping out all the commercial buildings in Nairobi and all other major town with a view of determining who owns them. KRA is depending on information from institutions such as utility companies like Kenya Power to document the landlord register.