Kenya: High Court Upholds Use of Agency Notices for Betting Tax Collection

Nairobi — KRA is set to continue enforcement of collection of winnings or betting tax by way of Agency Notices, as they are income and subject to taxation as per the tax rates prescribed in the Income Tax Act.

This is after the High Court upheld the use of the agency notices.

An agency Notice allows KRA to collect tax from a person that owes money to a defaulting taxpayer.

The taxman had moved to the High Court after the Tax Appeal Tribunal through its Judgement dated April 16 2021, held that the KRA had no powers to use Agency Notices to collect winnings or betting tax of Sh1.6million from Pevans East Africa Limited.

The Tax Appeals Tribunal had further stated that the only resort the KRA had was to file a civil suit for recovery of unpaid betting taxes.

In agreeing with the KRA submissions and overturning the decision of the Tax Appeals Tribunal, Justice Alfred Mabeya observed:

“Betting, Lotteries, and Gaming Act (Betting Act) does not provide an enforcement mechanism and further winnings or betting tax is a subject of income Tax and its collection is by way of withholding tax, which is subject of the Tax Procedures Act, 2015. As such the KRA’s action of issuing Agency Notices to collect the betting tax is within the law.”

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