Keroche Breweries cry foul over frozen accounts
The Kenya Revenue Authority has frozen accounts of Keroche Breweries Limited pending payment of 9 billion shillings in tax-claim.
This comes after the brewer lost a 5-year legal battle with the taxman.
The Tax Appeal Tribunal Monday, allowed the taxman to collect the sum from accrued excise duty from some of its products.
Keroche Chief Executive Officer Tabitha Karanja has termed the decision punitive and out to kill local manufacturers as plans to lodge an appeal at the High Court. Keroche Breweries now claims foul-play in tax raids by KRA that have now led to the freezing of its accounts.
CEO Tabitha Karanja says the Ksh. 9 billion demand by KRA is a deliberate effort to kill local businesses saying the accounts freeze have brought the brewer’s operations to a halt.
Karanja insists KRA has flouted the legal process by directing banks with Keroche owned accounts to collect the tax claim saying the company has 30 days to appeal the tax appeals tribunal decision.
Keroche said Wednesday it would appeal the ruling by the Tax Tribunal at the High Court and this is why?
In November 2006, KRA issued a new and higher tariff and backdated the tax claim for five years.
Keroche says the backdating should not have happened as they had not collected the taxes from consumers.
Another content was over the manufacturing process of Vienna Ice brand of vodka which the brewer argued was not a distinct product from Crescent Vodka since Vienna was produced by diluting Crescent Vodka and the process did not amount to manufacture.
The manufacturer appealed to KRA to honour the legal process and end the war as many lives dependent directly and indirectly on the business could lose income.