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KRA To Suspend More Betting Paybills In New Tax Row

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The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is now going after gambling firms in a fresh tax row, the taxman has now threatened to turn off their pay bill numbers over failure to deduct and submit a 20 pc tax on stakes despite a running court battle.

“We will suspend the pay bill numbers and online operations of non-compliant bookmakers,” the taxman said in a public notice published Tuesday, also said it would suspend online operations of the non-compliant managers of betting firms, in a move that promises a repeat of last year’s showdown that saw Sportpesa and Betin Kenya leave the Kenyan market.

The Finance Act 2019 introduced excise tax on stakes placed on the gambling sites in a new directive that also required gaming companies to display the same deductions on betting slips. KRA also imposed a 20 pc withholding tax on all winnings on compliant betting firms from last July.

Four gambling enthusiasts moved to court seeking a declaration that some sections of the Finance Act, 2019 on taxation are unconstitutional. Through lawyer Cecil Miller, the punters sought orders restraining KRA from collecting the 20 pc excise duty introduced by section 23 of the Act.

Justice Weldon Korir declined to suspend the law but directed all the parties, including the Attorney-General, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and KRA to file their responses and submissions ahead of the hearing on March 20th.


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