KRA wins case against Dubai firm seeking to stop collection of Sh2.3 billion tax debts

The High Court in Nairobi has ruled in favour of Kenya Revenue Authority in a case filed by a Dubai-based company.

Suzan General Trading JLT had moved to court seeking orders to stop the taxman from collecting Sh2.3 billion in tax debts from its affiliate company registered and operating in Kenya.

Justice Weldon Korir on October 31, 2019, ruled in favour of KRA and dismissed with costs the petition filed on October 2, 2019, by the United Arab Emirates registered firm.

Suzan General Trading JLT had sought among others a declaration that the action by KRA enforcing the warrants and distress notices issued on July 9, 2018, and September 30, 2019, respectively to recover a tax debt owed by its affiliate company Diplomatic Duty Free Limited (DDF) are unconstitutional and in breach of its fundamental rights and freedoms.

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The company had also sought an order lifting and cancelling the warrants and notices of distress on account of the debts owed to KRA by DDF.

The firm further sought for an order prohibiting KRA from attaching any property or issuing further proclamations whatsoever on its property about a debt due to the KRA by DDF, a company that it alleges is distinct, separate and unconnected to it.

KRA’s position on the petition was that Suzan General Trading JLT’s case was res judicata because the petitioner had previously filed Judicial Review Proceedings in Nairobi HC Misc. Civil Application No. 287 of 2018 which case had been struck out on September 23, 2019, on the ground that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the dispute.

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KRA’s preliminary objection dated October 14, 2019, was upheld and the petition was dismissed on October 31, 2019.

The court held that the issues and reasons why the petition was brought before the court were the same ones which had been canvassed in the judicial review proceedings. Consequently, the court ordered the petitioner to pay costs to KRA.  

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TaxKRASuzan General Trading JLTTax evasion