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Judge suspends new taxes on mobile money, kerosene

Thursday July 19 2018

Okiya Omtatah.

Okiya Omtatah. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

MAUREEN KAKAH
By MAUREEN KAKAH
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The High Court has suspended the implementation of new taxes imposed under the Finance Bill 2018, including those on mobile money and kerosene.

Justice Wilfrida Okwany issued the directive saying there would be no practical way of compensating Kenyan taxpayers who have already been affected by the implementation of the new taxes.

"I am satisfied that from the material placed before me, the petitioner has made out a prima facie case with a likelihood of success and I find that it is necessary to grant conservatory orders to preserve the subject matter of the suit while awaiting final determination of the constitutionality of the Finance Bill 2018," ruled Justice Okwany.

The judge issued the directive in a case in which activist Okiya Omtatah challenged the implementation of the new tax measures.

'Unlawful'

Mr Omtatah had argued that the implementation of the new tax measures is unlawful since the matter was only proposed by National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich during his budget presentation speech.

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The activist claimed the proposal on new tax measures must be discussed in Parliament and then assented by the President before implementation comes into force.

Justice Okwany had at the same time suspended the implementation of new "Robin Hood" tax on bank transfers, which imposes 0.05 per cent excise duty on transactions worth Sh500,000 and above.