Timber dealer loses Sh169m tax fight with the taxman

A truck loaded with imported timber.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Timber importer Calbati Limited has suffered a setback after the Tax Appeal Tribunal upheld a Sh169 million tax demand against it by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

The tribunal found that KRA was justified in making the cash claims on consignments imported from Uganda by Calbati.

“It is the view of the Tribunal that the Respondent(KRA) properly applied the mirror analysis and therefore its uplift of the Appellant’s consignment was justified and well within the law" the Tribunal ruled, citing provisions of the East Africa Community Customs Management Act(EACCMA).

"Section 135 (1) of EACCMA states; where any duty has been short levied or erroneously refunded, then the person who should have paid the amount short levied or to whom the refund has erroneously been made shall, on demand by the proper officer, pay the amount short levied or repay the amount erroneously refunded, as the case may be; and any such amount may be recovered as if it were duty to which the goods in relation to which the amount was short levied or erroneously refunded, as the case may be, were liable,” the tribunal said.

Calbati Limited, which imports timber for resale in Kenya, challenged the taxman’s assessments in November 2021 following investigations on the company’s import consignments and tax declarations since 2014.

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Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.