BY SAM ALFAN.
Salt manufacturer company has lost bid to block Kenya Revenue Authority from demanding more than 1 billion tax.
This is after High Court dismissed an application by a salt making company, seeking to quash tax demand by Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) of more than Sh1 billion.
“In my finding, the conclusion becomes irresistible that the applicant’s application must fail. Accordingly, the application is hereby dismissed is hereby dismissed”, ruled Mativo.
Krystalline Salt ltd rushed to court last August seeking orders to quash the decision from KRA demanding Sh1,358,754,214 from the company.
In the company’s view, the decision was done in violation of due process as laid out in the Tax Procedures Act and in contravention of the constitution.
The company also sought orders to prohibit KRA from issuing agency notices to its bankers freezing its bank accounts, suspending its PIN or threatening to enforce the demand notices.
Justice John Mativo heard that since 2013, the company and KRA has been locked in a court battles, with some cases pending at the Court of Appeal. The company through Hasmita Patel maintains that it does not owe KRA any tax.
The tax collector through, a manager, Policy and Tax Advisory Division said KRA issued the company with notices after investigations. The amount, he said, arose from Pay As You Earn and withholding tax and the demand was made on June 24, 2016.
He said in July 29, 2016, the company wrote back acknowledging the tax liability and requested for time to liaise with the parent Ministry. Further, the company allegedly made proposal, of paying a monthly amount, but failed to honour the pledge.
KRA faulted the company for rushing to court arguing that the matter should have been referred to Tax Appeals tribunal, first. But Krystalline argued that the tribunal was not properly constituted as it lacks quorum and the issues for determination was beyond the competence of the Tribunal.
The learned judge said the matter does not raise any constitutional question at all to warrant invoking of the High Court’s jurisdiction.
The tax agency is engaged in different legal battle with different company who are fighting to block the agency bid to collect huge taxes from the firms.