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Rotich new tax regime illegal, rules High court

Bernice Mbugua @BerniceMuhin

The High Court has faulted Treasury Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich for implementing the Finance Bill 2018 before it was passed by Parliament. Justice Wilfrida Onkwany ruled that Rotich did not follow the right procedure when he presented the bill.

The judge said the bill cannot become law before it is taken through the legislative process, adding that it had not been subjected to public participation.

The bill, presented when Rotich read the 2018/19 budget statement in Parliament, contains various taxation proposals. The judge said the Provisional Collection of Taxes and Duties 2018 is unconstitutional.

“The Provisional Collection of Taxes and Duties Act 415 and the Provisional Collection of Taxes and Duties 2018 fail the constitutional test of validity,” she ruled.

This means that the tax imposed on mobile money transfer, imported vehicles and bottled water was unconstitutional.

“The provisional collection of Taxes and Duties Act 415 and the provisional collection of taxes and duties 2018 fail the constitutional test of validity,” ruled the judge. The suit had been filed by activist Okiya Omtatah, who was challenging the new tax regime.

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