The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has opened a fresh court battle against economist and government critic David Ndii over unpaid taxes.
The taxman has issued a notice to the High Court indicating its intention to appeal a decision of the Tax Appeal Tribunal to drop KRA’s pursuit tax money it is demanding from the economist.
KRA issued a notice to Dr Ndii in December 2017 demanding a total of Sh11, 395,591 arising from income tax estimated Sh8.4 million and another Sh2.9 million arising from VAT, triggering a dispute at the tribunal.
The income tax dispute was settled in an out-of-court deal while the Sh2.9 million VAT claim was later reduced to Sh2.8 million.
However, the tribunal declared the VAT claim invalid since KRA had used the wrong procedure to notify Dr Ndii of his tax dues. Now, KRA has moved to the High Court as it is dissatisfied with the verdict of the tribunal.
The legal dispute looks set to raise questions on the costs KRA will face, including legal fees, in its pursuit of the Sh2.8 million.
In March, the tribunal chaired by Josephine Maangi dismissed the assessment by KRA and quashed a demand of Sh2,807,758. In the ruling, the tribunal said that although Dr Ndii did not contest the assessment of the VAT, KRA had erred by failing to notify him through writing, a mandatory requirement.
The tax assessment was carried out in September 2015 at a time when Dr Ndii had stepped up his criticism of the Jubilee administration and President Uhuru Kenyatta.