Gamblers have suffered a blow as the Court of Appeal postponed a decision that overturned a judgement that annulled the 7.5 per cent excise duty levied on money set aside for gambling. Court Betting Excise Duty
Judges Daniel Musinga, Abida Ali Aroni, and John Mativo of the Court of Appeal granted KRA’s move to delay Justice Anthony Mrima’s February judgement pending the outcome of an appeal.
Mrima stated in his judgement that the public was not allowed to speak themselves on gaming and lottery matters. He declared that some provisions of the Excise Duty Act were unconstitutional due to a lack of public consultation, stakeholder engagement, and fair administrative procedures.
The orders were issued in response to a case filed by executives of Kenya’s Association of Gaming Operators.
Section 32 of the Finance Act was used to change the Excise Duty Act, which the authorities contested. They claimed that the process leading up to the imposition of excise duty on betting, gaming, price competitions, and lotteries, as well as the provision raising the tax to 30% and allocating 7.5 per cent to betting, gaming, price competitions, and lotteries, violated various constitutional edicts and other statutory provisions.
It was stated that important industry participants were not involved in the amendments’ passage and that public engagement, as required by the Constitution, did not occur. Judge Mrima agreed to it. KRA, outraged, filed an appeal notice and an application to postpone Mrima’s ruling. It claimed that the judge imposed the directives notwithstanding confirmation of public involvement. Court Betting Excise Duty
It argued that if their application is denied, their anticipated appeal will be rendered ineffective because the Excise Duty Act of 2015 specifies deadlines for submitting gaming and lottery returns.
The authority claimed that the contested decision has thrown the country’s revenue collection into chaos, causing the KRA to be unable to successfully implement tax compliance under many tax headings, hurting its tax collecting mandate on the expected revenue projections for the fiscal year 2022/23. They contended that uncollected tax may not be recoverable if the intended appeal is successful.
The Court of Appeal judges granted their motion because they were convinced that the anticipated appeal is arguable. They agreed with KRA that uncollected tax may be unrecoverable if the planned appeal is successful.
The officials also failed to present any proof of their ability to pay the uncollected taxes if the expected appeal is successful, according to the judges.
They claimed that the task was firmly on them, yet they did not discharge it.
We are of the view that if we do not grant the orders of stay as prayed by KRA, the intended appeal shall be rendered useless, and KRA may never be able to recover the uncollected tax if the intended appeal is successful. It is the citizens who stand to lose revenue if the officials are not able to remit the uncollected tax to KRA.”they said.
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