KRA back in court over tax dispute with Keroche

Keroche Breweries director Tabitha Karanja. [Antony Gitonga, Standard]

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has gone back to court seeking a review of the orders issued last week directing it to allow Keroche Breweries to reopen.

KRA, in its application filed before Commercial judge Abigail Mshila, argues that the orders are contradicting its agreement with Keroche on how much it ought to pay to foot the outstanding tax.

Last week, commercial court in Nairobi ordered KRA to allow Keroche to re-open. Justice Alfred Mabeya directed the beer maker to pay Sh8 million tax to KRA within seven days as first installment of tax arrears and continue to do so on the 30th day of every month until September.

"An order be and is hereby issued that the defendant/respondent (KRA), its agents, officers, associates to unseal the packaging line, the stores and to reactivate the excisable goods management system in the applicant’s Keroche Breweries processing plant in Naivasha and to allow the applicant to carry on with business forthwith,” ruled Justice Mabeya.

Keroche’s tax wars with the KRA have been in the corridors of justice for years now. In pursuit of taxes, KRA has used criminal and civil law against the Naivasha-based brewer.

After pressing charges against Keroche's top directors Tabitha Karanja and her husband Paul Karanja on a claim of Sh14 billion, KRA had another fight before the tax tribunal. 

The row began in 1997 when Keroche brought Viena Fortified wine which was duly given stamp of quality and authority by Kenya Bureau of Standards. Immediately, KRA came calling with a Tariff HS Code 22.04 or 45 per cent of ex-factory value as the excise duty. 

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