The mandate of Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is to collect and manage revenue to make sure that government operations run smoothly.
For many consecutive years, KRA has failed to hit its revenue collection target and the recent happenings at the agency show that the taxman is an enemy to himself.
For KRA to collect enough revenue, businesses in the country have to be functioning and making profits. A collapsed business is worthless to the taxman. One would, therefore, expect KRA to be at the forefront of helping businesses grow so that they can pay taxes.
KRA has a tax tribunal that was meant to help it mediate between then and the taxpayer so that we can always have fairness in case of a tax dispute.
During an audit by KRA in a business, KRA will issue an assessment. In the assessment the KRA will state the amount of tax that they deem due and payable from the audit of the taxpayer’s records.
On the issue of the assessment, a taxpayer is then allowed under the TPA to lodge, with the Commissioner, an objection to the assessment.
In the case of KRA vs businessman Humphrey Kariuki, KRA which has made it a criminal proceeding against the businessman accuses him of not remitting taxes to the tune of 41 billion shillings. That is a lot of money for sure, but KRA itself is unable to tell how the amount rose to that magnitude.
KRA went ahead to have accounts of 9 companies associated with Humphrey Kariuki frozen. Even if the companies were to pay taxes, how would they do it when the accounts have been frozen?
Luckily, one of the companies has moved to court seeking orders to unfreeze the accounts of nine companies and hope justice will prevail for the common good.
Africa Spirits Limited (ASL) filed a case under a certificate of urgency seeking to lift orders issued by Kiambu Chief Magistrate on August 16 freezing accounts of nine companies with a large workforce.
Besides unfreezing the bank accounts, lawyer Cecil Miller urged the court to suspend the hearing of the tax evasion case pending before Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku at the Milimani Law Courts and another at the Thika Law Courts.