The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) will start using drones to enhance its tax surveillance efforts. The agency announced that it will soon commission two unmanned aircraft systems to conduct aerial scrutiny.
“The Kenya Revenue Authority invites bids from eligible candidates for supply, delivery, testing, and commissioning of two unmanned aircraft systems for aerial surveillance,” KRA said.
The agency is seeking to capture specific data from the surveillance to determine correct valuation of items such as assets including property and whether they have been valued correctly.
The drones will give the taxman access to real-time financial data including sales from scrutiny. This is the latest surveillance system to be adopted after KRA announced plans to install flow metres and CCTV cameras in alcohol factories to help them capture round-the-clock data. The mass custody flow meter will track the volumes of alcoholic beverages produced, helping KRA maximize on collections.
The system is planned to work in tandem with the existing Excisable Items Management System (EGMS), which makes it easier to trace stamps on excisable goods throughout the supply chain and account for tax payments.
KRA also declared that all electronic tax registers (ETRs) equipment must be connected to its networks for daily sales tracking in an effort to tighten oversight.
The two technologies will provide KRA with a view of items as they leave the production line and make their way to the point of exchange between retailers and consumers, allowing them to collect what is owed at each stage of the supply chain.
All firms with an annual turnover of at least Sh5 million are required by law to have ETR machines. This allows KRA to receive daily sales and invoice data from all registered enterprises and dealers under the new system.
Traders will also have to get authorization from the taxman to conduct any further business the next day under the scheme, which means that erroneous or incomplete data logged the day before might lock them out.
ETRs with internet access have a number of unique features. For example, it records the purchaser’s personal identification number (PIN). This is, however, an optional field when creating an invoice, and it is only used when a buyer wants to claim input tax for the VAT they paid.