SportPesa has yet again been able to save itself from the jaws of the Taxman after a court ruled that betting firms are partially exempted from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) enforcement actions.
According to Business Daily, the betting firm has been spared asset seizures, bank accounts freeze and travel bans.
“The Tax Appeals Tribunal (TAT) has ruled that the taxman cannot apply the enforcement actions on betting firms like SportPesa while pursuing withholding taxes,” it said.
The KRA had sought to freeze the bank accounts of SportPesa after it issued agency notices to its lenders while pursuing a claim of Sh1.66 billion withholding tax, penalties and interest accrued for 2018, prompting the betting firm to file an appeal at TAT.
The tribunal ruled that agency notices and other enforcement actions contained in the Tax Procedures Act, 2015 can only be used to recover money related to excise duty, value-added tax (VAT) and income tax.
“A plain reading of the provision indicates that the Tax Procedures Act does not apply to the Betting Lotteries and Gaming Act (BLGA). As such, the respondent cannot apply enforcement mechanisms set out under the TPA to enforce collection of taxes owed under the BLGA,” the tribunal said.