Court orders KRA to make public MPs’ tax records

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has been directed to make public information regarding tax remittance by legislators in the 10th Parliament.

Court of Appeal judges Philip Waki, Roselyn Nambuye and Patrick Kiage, made the decision in an appeal filed by retired PCEA cleric Timothy Njoya, who had failed to get the orders at the High Court.

He had filed the case in 2013 seeking orders to have the taxman compelled to produce documents showing MPs who paid taxes.

CONFIDENTIAL
However, the information to be released shall relate only to the taxes paid or payable on the salaries, allowances and emoluments of MPs and not their private income.

The taxman has 30 days to comply with the order.

KRA, through lawyer Moses Ado, had told the court that it had difficulty providing the data because such information is protected under the law.

He added that confidentiality of tax returns is internationally recognised.

TAXES
Although the High Court had concurred with KRA, the appellate judges said that right to information is in the Constitution and that denial was an error of law.

“The State has only one option, to obey the constitution by enforcing and applying the clear provisions of the constitution for purposes of implementation and application of taxation to public officers,” the appellate judges said.

KRA had told the court that if taxes were not paid, it is the Parliamentary Service Commission that should have been held responsible.

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