Editorials

Fix the tax tribunal’s flaws

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Summary

  • The statement by the Treasury that it is seeking to fast-track the conclusion of cases at the Tax Appeals Tribunal is a clear sign of inefficiencies at the judicial body.
  • This has had an effect of impeding collection of taxes for an inordinate period of time from individuals and business who are eventually found to owe funds to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
  • The Treasury says it has reached an agreement with the tribunal to conclude stalled cases within 50 days.

The statement by the Treasury that it is seeking to fast-track the conclusion of cases at the Tax Appeals Tribunal is a clear sign of inefficiencies at the judicial body.

This has had an effect of impeding collection of taxes for an inordinate period of time from individuals and business who are eventually found to owe funds to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

The Treasury says it has reached an agreement with the tribunal to conclude stalled cases within 50 days.

The law states that the tribunal shall hear and determine an appeal within 90 days from the date the appeal is filed. The tribunal, however, is also given discretion to give parties including the KRA more time to file their evidence and argue their cases.

Some aggrieved tax payers have also launched multiple cases before the same tribunal, causing some of the hearings to be determined after years.

It is high time the Treasury, which appoints members of the tribunal, found ways of fixing the inefficiencies at the judicial body and abuse of its processes by some taxpayers.

The law allows any person disputing a tax demand to go before the tribunal. This legal process should, however, not be used to avoid paying legitimate taxes.