The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has recently made a significant move in its ongoing taxation drive. The tax authority has requested Airbnb, the popular online marketplace for lodging and tourism experiences, to provide historical transaction data of Kenyan hosts on its platform. This request spans from January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2022.
The primary aim of this request is to identify hosts and their earnings, thereby shedding light on potential tax liabilities. Airbnb Ireland UC, an Irish-registered company, serves as the data controller for all Airbnb users in Kenya. Following KRA’s request, the Irish Tax Authority (Irish Revenue) initiated an exchange of information request to obtain specific information about Kenyan hosts.
If you run Airbnb business in Kenya, this is to inform you that KRA has written asking for details of the monies you made between 1 Jan 2021 to 31 Dec 2022, in order for them to process the Freedom that you were promised tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/Y6eZfKES16
— Gabriel Oguda (@gabrieloguda) November 8, 2023
Airbnb, under legal obligations, has been formally asked by Irish Revenue to share this information with KRA. Kenyan Airbnb users whose data is included in this exchange of information will receive notifications from Irish Revenue. The notification will simply confirm that their data will be shared with KRA.
This move is expected to help KRA better understand the tax obligations of Airbnb hosts. It will ensure that tax revenues are appropriately collected from the platform. The request from KRA is in line with a recent trend where the tax authority has been stepping up efforts to collect taxes from digital platforms
“Let everyone pay their fair share of taxes to level the competitive playing field. This will improve business in Kenya. We can’t have hotels paying taxes and they are losing customers to Airbnb which are not paying taxes. You can’t have Samsung and Apple selling phones in malls and paying taxes then other people are flying in phones tax-free via JKIA. I support the move by the government to level the playing field on tax payments.” A Reddit user commented.
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