SportyBet the number gaming firm in Africa intends to clear the issue with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) within three weeks.
It was reported that the firm had disputed KRA’s Sh1.5 billion tax bill.
The site went offline a month after rejecting deposits from punters.
SportyBet says all punters were refunded their stakes.
This is not the first time a firm goes into the tax tribunal to dispute KRA’s tax bill.
In 2020, Keroche Breweries was charged with Sh14 billion tax evasion.
The case would later prove weak and was slowed down for a while until this week when the DPP opened the case once more by approving charges against Keroche owners Tabitha and her husband Joseph Karanja.
The taxes in question include Sh12.3 billion in Excise Duty and Sh2.1 billion in VAT on various products manufactured and sold by the brewer during the period from January 2015 to June 2019.
In March 2022, KRA claimed that the company owed it a total of Sh22.79 billion in unpaid taxes.
“Keroche has not honoured the payment of instalments as per the agreements,” said the KRA in a statement.
It is in public interest to charge the suspects with 10 counts of tax fraud, contrary to the Tax Procedures Act, 2015,” wrote Haji. The fresh charges come at a time President William Ruto has declared total war on tax cheats, vowing to ensure that all taxpayers meet their obligations, regardless of their standing in society.
Another billionaire businessman Humprey Kariuki, was also tussled by the authorities for tax evasion amounting to over Sh41 billion.
Mr Kariuki together with Mr Geoffrey Kaaria Kinoti, Simon Maundu, Kepha Githu Gakure, Robert Murithi, Peter Njenga Kuria, Africa Spirits Limited and Wow Beverages Limited faced 11 criminal charges related to tax evasion. They were arraigned in 2019.
Dissatisfied with the entirety of their prosecution, their lawyers led by Mr Cecil Miller, Paul Muite and Kioko Kilukumi filed a petition at the High Court contending that the prosecution was unlawful.
Humphrey Kariuki of Africa Spirits Limited fought hard to regain his business.
Justice Antony Mrima, the court said the prosecution of the tycoon and his colleagues was unlawful since it was being handled by prosecutors drawn from the KRA instead of the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions.
Further, the decision to charge Mr Kariuki was made by the National Police Service, which was the investigator of the alleged tax crimes, instead of the DPP.
“It is apparent that the criminal case lacks any legal leg to stand on since the decision to charge was made by the National Police Service who was the investigator. Further, the charges were also drafted by the same investigator and that the prosecution was undertaken by the complainant (KRA),” said the judge.
The case against Africa Spirits Limited by the state appears to have collapsed.
Analysts say it was witchhunt.
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