Keroche asks KRA for six months to clear tax arrears

 Keroche Breweries Ltd is seeking another six-month moratorium from Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to start clearing undisputed tax arrears as the taxman shifts focus to corporates with unsettled taxes by the closure of the current financial year.

Keroche’s latest cyclical tax woes come just three months after the two entered a payment plan last March, the third agreement since July 2021.

The brewer says the grace period would help it reorganise its finances after it failed to honour the last 24 monthly payment plan due to the pandemic and the unending closure of the factory by KRA since December 2021 to date.

“We would be happy to have an audience with the Commissioner-General of KRA in order to once again articulate our predicaments as we seek for the moratorium,” Keroche CEO Tabitha Karanja said in a Twitter post.

KRA shut the Naivasha-based factory on June 14 for the second time this year after the first one in February 2022 over tax disputes, which the CEO now says are politically instigated.

The CEO revealed that the closure is set to render 400 employees jobless and could lose beer worth at least Sh350 million if the brewer is not reopened soon. Keroche says the reason behind the current closure is Sh195 million excise duty arrears, of which it defaulted on only one monthly instalment of Sh30 million for April 2022.

During the March payment pact, Keroche was to settle an undisputed tax amount of Sh957 million over a period of 24 months starting from January 2022.

According to the company, the total arrears included the Sh500 million goodwill payment that the taxman proposed during the last agreement.

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