Court Deals Huge Blow To Manuchar Kenya Ltd In Tax Dispute

by Lawyer Alex

Manuchar Kenya Ltd suffered a massive blow yesterday after the High Court dismissed its application seeking to be allowed to file an appeal out of time to dispute Sh25 million which Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is demanding in taxes.

Justice David Majanja dismissed the application saying the reasons given by the company over the two-year inordinate delay in filing the appeal were inadequate.

“The right to appeal must be exercised timeously as a judgment settles the legal rights of the parties and marks the end of the dispute,” ruled the Judge.

The company moved to court on August 11, in an application seeking extension to file an appeal out of time after Tax Appeals Tribunal in its judgment affirming KRA’s demand of Sh25,431,177 in taxes.

KRA had carried out an audit against the firm for the years 2010 – 2012 and raised an assessment for Sh18,902,123.00 for Corporation Tax and Sh6,529,054.00 for VAT on March 17, 2016.

Delayed to file

In their application, the company claimed that it delayed to file the appeal as it only received positive legal advice this year from its new advocates on record.

But the court noted that given the amount it was required to pay to Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), it would have sought a second legal opinion since it knew it had a substantial tax liability

“While the applicant lodged a Notice of Appeal on April 25, 2018, it did not lodge an appeal within the time prescribed by the law despite the fact that the Tribunal supplied the parties with certified copies of the proceedings and judgment by letters dated May 17, 2018 and November 8, 2018,” Justice Majanja ruled.

According to the Judge, timelines are an integral part of litigation and are necessary to ensure that parties’ rights are determined fairly and expeditiously.

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