Kenyans to be Squeezed More as KRA goes After eCitizen Data

kra seeks eCitizen data to find tax evaders

In Kenya’s Medium-term Debt Strategy for the period 2024/25 – 2026/27 Treasury proposed that the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) be exempted from the privacy boundaries created by the Data Protection Act of 2019. Now before even that proposal becomes law, the tax authority is hunting Kenyan’s via 3rd party data. KRA is relying on an amendment to the Tax Procedures Act of 2015, through the Finance Act, of 2016. This change in the law gave the taxman legal leeway to access electronic data on taxpayers from third parties.

As each day passes, more government services are digitized and are getting onboarded on eCiziten. The move by the state to ease service access appears to be a double-edged sword. Digitization provides for better data collection and a verifiable paper trail. KRA, which recently failed to hit its revenue collection target, is looking to take advantage of the data trove that is eCitizen to squeeze more revenue from Kenyans.

Kenyans turn to the platform to access services from multiple state agencies. Thus, eCitizen gives the tax authority access to information on business ownership, land ownership, and vehicle ownership to name but a few assets.  Speaking to the Daily Nation, a KRA representative said that the authority will now be able to reconcile records on eCitizen with data submitted by taxpayers. Going forward, all the bills one pays, import records, and all kinds of registrations made on eCitizen will be subject to state scrutiny as the country seeks to grow its revenue base. In the event your transactions on eCitizen don’t tally with your tax returns, you could be in trouble with the state.

After physically deploying door-to-door tax agents, KRA is strengthening its virtual efforts in tax collection. Already, the tax agents have forced many business owners to abandon digital payment options. Customers have also been mindful of how often they use mobile money as operators pass on tax cost to clients. A recent industry survey shows Kenya imposes the highest combined tax on mobile usage in Africa.

KRA Awaits at Entry Points

Since taking power a year ago, the current Kenya government has consistently devised new ways to collect more taxes. The tax authority has recently found itself grappling to interpret a law that requires Kenyans to declare items worth above US$ 500 at the country’s points of entry. Citing harassment by tax officials from the state, Kenyans claim the law does not make much sense, especially in the current economic climate.

The tax authority states that items exceeding the limit are subject to import duty, value-added tax, and excise duty based on the law. For a government that is pushing digital transformation, Kenyans were quick to point out the irony of enforcing such a law at a time when US$500 represents the price of a mid-range mobile phone or a decent laptop.


  1. Willingness to pay all taxes will only be supported by government service delivery to it’s people. How the same collected revenue is spend is another bone of contention, perhaps government/taxman also needs to show roadmap on how citizens being will have favorable environment for work and business.

    • If the government collects all this tax then put in their pockets like what happened with the recent budget scandal of trippling government officials’ salaries etc…Ruth might be doing good by curbing tax evaders bt with no evidence where taxes are being spent, people are asking “why pay?”

  2. I believe Kenyans will be more than willing to pay as many taxes as possible as long as they feel value for money from the taxes collected. The government must equally address the wastage of KES 2B that Rtd Uhuru pinpointed as lost everyday. As long as Kenyans don’t see value for the taxes collected, it will always be a cat and mouse game like the colonial era of the kipande and kodi system.

  3. Taxing the poor Mwanainchi and giving Tax breaks to the rich Wenyeinchi is by far the most cruel attribute any government can do to its ppl. The high and mighty placed keep on stealing from government coffers ie the damned report from Audit General yesterday is an example. I think there must be something wrong with our society. Seems like it’s a must, thieving has become so normalized that no end to corruption is thinkable. Why not confiscate ( ill gotten wealth) all properties and jail the corrupt for life?

  4. Until people vote for politicians that want to help the people or the country the politicians will always win. We in uk have seen through our ones with the dreadful Boris then truss now sumak and election will get them all gone for being clueless on how to run a country one of the richest in the world. Others like usa got people to vote for a complete uneducated liar and thief con man for 4 yrs as the most powerful person in the world so Africa is not alone on being duped after trump was elected admittedly with Russian help but still elected in a ridiculous electoral system, that allows someone with 3 million less votes wins. When voters stop voting in criminals in many country’s then that country will benefit. Unfortunately in Africa there are no longer good guys like Nelson Mandela.

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