Keroche Breweries Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tabitha Karanja has appealed to the Kenya Revenue Authority(KRA) to give the company an 18 months grace period on the taxes in arrears.
Speaking at a press briefing earlier, she said that the company is willing to go back to the table with KRA to come up with a more realistic payment plan.
“Due to the many disruptions, we have gone through since December 2021; we kindly request KRA to give the company 18 months grace period on the taxes in arrears. However, the company will continue paying the current taxes as they fall due,”Tabitha Karanja CEO Keroche Breweries.
This forms part of the appeal by the brewer which also urged the taxman to reopen the plant within seven days else it would risk laying off 250 employees and lose 2 million litres of beer in the tanks under fermentation worth Shs512 million
“Our humble appeal to the Commissioner-General is to kindly but urgently request the re-opening of our plant to prevent huge losses and enable us to resume production, sales and distribution and most importantly protect and safeguard the livelihoods of thousands of Kenyans employed by the company both directly and indirectly,” she said.
Further, the CEO also noted that following her assessment on the matter, the issues between KRA and Keroche Breweries is not political but rather a business war.
She also sought to set the record straight regarding the exact amount of taxes the company owed the revenue collection agency stating that KRA is propagating a false narrative that Keroche is a tax evader.
The company made it clear that they owe Ksh 322 million that accrued from February 2021 as well as Ksh 500,000 million and not the outstanding ksh 21 billion figure stated by KRA.
“However, the 3.9 billion stated by KRA which is a combination of 1.1 billion from 2006 and 2.9 billion from 2012-2015 is hypothetical as Keroche neither charged nor collected the taxes due to ambiguity of the tax classification codes applied by KRA at the time,”Tabitha Karanja .
Finally, the company appealed to Commissioner-General James Githii to lift the agency notices with the 36 banks to enable the company to access financing as well as assure that Keroche can operate in an environment free from any harassment.