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Betway Ordered to Pay Sh158mn Betting Taxes to KRA

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 23 – The Tax Appeals Tribunal has ordered Betway  Kenya to pay taxes amounting to Sh158 million to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

According to Legal Services and Board Coordination Paul Matuku, the  Tribunal ruled in favour of  KRA  in a  case in which the international betting firm,  M/S  BlueJay  Limited,  trading as  Betway  Kenya objected to payment of various tax obligations totalling Sh158 million.

Betway Kenya wanted to stop KRA from demanding additional Withholding Tax on winnings derived from bets placed by punters and Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) on the earnings of one of its employee John Felix Kittony, who the company alleged to have retained as an Independent Consultant.

The Tribunal ordered the company to pay all the taxes it had agreed to pay in regard to Withholding Tax on professional fees. The taxes amounted to  Sh9.95 million,  capital costs relating to research and processing costs of  Sh16.5 million and outstanding Withholding Tax based on gross winnings of Sh131.7 millioninclusive of penalty and interest as at the time of assessment.

The Tribunal held that the Company had computed outstanding Withholding Tax on winnings on net winnings contrary to Section 34  of the Finance Act, 2016 that was applicable for the duration under review.

On Withholding Tax on professional fees, it observed that from 1st March 2016 to 12th  October 2016 a period of seven ((7) months, John Felix Kittony was an independent  Contractor  (Consultant)  but became an  employee immediately he was appointed Director, and the company was liable to withhold and remit PAYE from that time.

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