State Swings in to Resolve Del Monte Land Issues

The land lease dispute between the giant company Del Monte and the residents of Kiambu County has attracted the eye of President Uhuru Kenyatta who has directed the Ministry of Lands to resolve the issue as soon as possible. According to the Lands Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri, the Head of State has given the Ministry until the end of the Month of July to have the issue resolved after Washington called on Nairobi to intervene. “All parties will be listened to and the government will conclusively deal with the issue…

Rio cartels go from running drugs to pushing medication

CNN’s International Security Editor Nick Paton Walsh reports from Rio de Janeiro as the coronavirus spreads through the favelas, with Brazil now the country with the second highest number of coronavirus infections behind the United States. A drug gang granted CNN access to one of Rio’s poorest and most socially isolated communities to illustrate how it has dealt with Covid-19 in an area inaccessible to state healthcare. One gang member, Ronaldo, told Paton Walsh, “We fear the virus, not Bolsonaro. We can’t count exactly how many have already died. The hospitals kill more…

Laikipia County Government COVID-19 Response teams Receives 550 bales of Soko Maize Meal from Capwell Industries

Capwell Industries head of corporate affairs Obadiah Gitiye. The donation will go a long away in supporting vulnerable communities within Laikipia County who have been greatly affected by the pandemic, stating that affected families will each receive two packets of Soko maize meal 2kg. Thika based food and beverage processing company  Capwell Industries Limited, has donated 550 bales of Soko maize meal to Laikipia County Government emergency response team as part of the firm’s corporate efforts to help in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged the country’s economy.…

Dutch Flower Firm ordered to pay Ksh.1.3 billion in taxes

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has won a case to collect taxes worth Ksh.1.3 billion from Van Den Berg limited, a Dutch flower firm operating in Kenya. The firm was ordered to pay KRA after the High Court in Nairobi dismissed a judicial review application filed by the company in April, 2016 seeking to quash a tax assessment issued by the Commissioner of Domestic Taxes. In a ruling delivered online, Justice J.M.Bwonwong’a found that the company had not exhausted the dispute resolution mechanism provided under Section 12 of the Tax Appeal…

Facebook and CNN focus on Together Apart at Ramadan

Facebook is the exclusive partner for a new series across CNN TV and digital platforms about maintaining community and connection during Ramadan. The 10-part series, Together Apart at Ramadan, will highlight how a spirit of togetherness can be maintained virtually. Through a mixture of English and Arabic language content, Together Apart at Ramadan will showcase the continued connection between families, friends and communities during Ramadan, despite the current situation regarding Covid-19, and demonstrate creative ways to keep traditions alive and inspire hope. In collaboration with CNN International Commercial (CNNIC), Facebook will be the exclusive brand partner across…

OPPO Kenya Joins The Fight Against Covid-19 By Donating Hand Sanitizers

As the world continues to battle the fast-spreading deadly Coronavirus that has now claimed over 50,000 lives, global electronics giant OPPO Kenya has joined Kenyans in the fight against the virus by donating hand sanitizers. In a statement posted on their Twitter handle, OPPO Kenya says it has donated 1,000 liters of hand sanitizers that “will go way in aiding the efforts towards flattening the curve” of Covid-19. The government, through the Ministry of Health, has been calling on Kenyans of goodwill and well-wishers to join the fight to contain…

More African prisoners released over humanitarian consideration

At least 22 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to its Ministry of Health Eritrean-American Ciham Ali Ahmed turns 23  and once again she is spending her birthday behind bars. This year she faces the additional and potentially deadly risk of contracting COVID-19 in some prison in Eritrea. She is a prisoner of conscience, jailed simply for trying to exercise her human rights to leave the country. As of 2 April, Eritrea, a country notorious for arbitrarily arresting and detaining or forcibly disappearing people simply for speaking their minds, had at least 22…

BAT refutes claims that ‘Battle of minds’ Completion is meant to promote Tobacco  

BAT Kenya has refuted claims made in various media channels that the Battle of Minds student competition serves to advertise and promote its tobacco products. In a Statement released today by the spokesperson for BAT Kenya said: “Battle of Minds is the BAT Group’s global internship competition designed to offer graduates who are 18 years and above, an opportunity to gain real practical work experience. Our aim is to strengthen the company’s talent pool and develop the next generation of leaders. “Established to attract, celebrate and support the best and brightest…

Keroche Tax burden

The KRA is set to collect tax of Kshs 9,116,835,985 .00 from Keroche Breweries Limited with regard to products manufactured and marketed by Keroche breweries Limited. This follows a big win by the Kenya Revenue Authority in the six (6) Appeals filed by Keroche before the Tax Appeals Tribunal in 2015 and 2017 respectively. 2.  In three of the Appeals, the contention was the manufacturing process of Vienna Ice Brand of Vodka. The brewer argued that, Vienna Ice brand of Vodka was not a distinct product from Crescent Vodka since Vienna Vodka was produced by diluting Crescent Vodka which process did not amount to manufacture. 3.  KRA relied on the Compounding of Denatured Spirits Act Cap 123 and argued that the process undertaken by Keroche Breweries was compounding within the meaning of the Act. Compounding of spirits also amounted to manufacture of new product within the definition of Customs & Excise Act, CAP 472 (now repealed). 4. In the other three appeals, the contention was with regard to classification of pineapple based wines. The Brewer had argued that what they produced was fortified wines which should be classified under HS Code 22.04 which attracted lower excise duty rate of 40%. Their position was that the classification was specific for any fortified wine. 5.   KRA’s position was that HS code 22.04 was reserved for wines based on grapes and the Keroche’s fortified wine was purely fermented pineapple as such is to be classified under HS Code 22.06 which is for any other fermented beverage. HS code 22.06 attracted a higher excise duty rate of 60%. 6.    The Tax Appeals Tribunal in its’ judgments delivered on 9th March, 2020 held that: 6.1.   Keroche Breweries Limited was involved in the compounding of spirit which amounts to manufacture within the meaning in Excise Duty Act, 2015 and Customs and Excise Act, CAP 472 (repealed)as such Vienna Ice was a distinct product for which Excise Duty was payable; 6.2.  With regard to Fortified wines produced by the Brewer, the Tribunal guided by the World Customs Organization explanatory notes on HS code found that HS code 22.04 was for grape based wines and the correct classification was HS code 22.06 as the Keroche’s wine is a mixture of fermented pineapple and alcohol. 7.  The Tribunal however faulted the Authority for levying interest and late payment penalties for the period the disputes were being litigated at the High Court and the Court of Appeal which had directed that the matters be heard at the Tax Appeals Tribunal.

Tax Appeals Tribunal rules in favour of KRA against Roshina Timber Mart Limited 

Tax Appeals Tribunal rules in favour of KRA against Roshina Timber Mart Limited  The Tax Appeals Tribunal (TAT) has ruled in favour of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in a case filed by Roshina Timber Mart Limited seeking orders to stop KRA from disallowing input VAT that was based on fictitious tax invoices from ghost traders, dubbed the “missing traders” scheme. The scheme was established to reduce tax liability without the taxpayer making taxable supplies or the supplier of the goods being captured on the tax invoices used to deduct input VAT. In its ruling delivered on 26th February 2020, the TAT held that the law places the burden of providing supporting documentation on the taxpayer and in the absence of such documentation; KRA is left with no option but to apply the law and assess the tax. The Tribunal further stated that failure to keep, retain or maintain records is an offence as stipulated under Section 93 of the Tax Procedures Act, 2015. This means that accepting the position advanced by Roshina Timber Mart Limited and allowing input VAT recovery would amount to aiding criminal conduct. The company argued that it had no obligation or responsibility to trace the supplier and  did  not  doubt  the  existence  of  suppliers  who  issued  it  with  the  invoices. The TAT also established that the VAT Act, 2013 stipulates that for input VAT to be allowable for deduction, it must have been incurred for the purpose of business or to make taxable supplies. KRA was therefore correct in seeking for additional documentation to prove that there were taxable supplies made to the company. The Tribunal went on to state that even if proof had been provided to show that the supplies took place, KRA was still within its power to establish whether the input VAT claimed by the company was incurred for business purposes in order to allow or disallow its recovery. The Tribunal further determined that KRA rightly demanded Corporation Tax from the impugned transactions with the phantom “missing traders”. KRA has previously experienced similar challenges where unscrupulous taxpayers who do not make taxable supplies use fictitious tax invoices to claim input VAT. The ruling is a boost to KRA in the fight against such schemes.