KRA: Keroche owes us Sh22bn in unpaid taxes

Keroche CEO Tabitha Karanja

Keroche Breweries CEO Tabitha Karanja. KRA says the brewer owes the State over Sh22 billion in unpaid taxes.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The finances of Keroche, a private company, are not publicly available but it is expected to struggle to raise the billions of shillings if the KRA has its way

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has disclosed that the troubled Naivasha-based Keroche Breweries owes it Sh22.79 billion in unpaid taxes, darkening the future for the brewer that challenged the mighty East African Breweries (EABL).

The taxman in an unprecedented move offered a blow-by-blow account of the 16-year-long battle with Keroche, including details of unpaid corporate tax, excise duty, VAT and penalties of Sh3.02 billion.

The KRA’s revelation was in response to Keroche’s plea for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s intervention after the authority shut the operations of the beer maker and froze its dealings with 36 banks, further exacerbating the situation.

Keroche, owned by the Karanja family, linked its woes to a Sh351 million demand. But the KRA painted the brewer as a cheat who owes the State over Sh22 billion in unpaid taxes.

At Sh22.79 billion, the taxman is demanding what is a near equivalent of the Sh24.9 billion that Safaricom, East Africa’s most profitable company, paid the KRA. It is more than the market value of Kenya Airways and the combined worth of nearly half of the firms listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchanges (NSE)

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