Summary of Court Appeal Ruling and Impact on Taxes

The recent Court of Appeal ruling has lifted the suspension on the Finance Act 2023, making it operational again.



A recent Court of Appeal ruling has had significant implications for taxes in Kenya.

The Court of Appeal has lifted the conservatory orders that suspended the Finance Act 2023, which contains various tax measures. This decision has sparked public interest and raised questions among individuals, workers, businesses, and businessmen.

In this article, we will provide a clear and straightforward analysis of the judgment and its impact on taxes.

What is the Finance Act 2023?

The Finance Act is an annual legislation that amends various tax and duty-related laws in Kenya. It plays a crucial role in shaping the government’s revenue generation and expenditure plans for the financial year. The Act was enacted to provide funding for government projects and services and support the country’s economic growth.

The Court’s Decision

The Court of Appeal had to consider whether to lift the conservatory orders that suspended the Finance Act 2023. The applicants argued that the appeal against the suspension was arguable, and the continued suspension would cause irreparable harm to the country’s economy. On the other hand, the respondents believed that the suspension was necessary due to alleged constitutional issues with the Act.

The Court’s Rationale

The Court of Appeal acknowledged the complexity of the case and the diverse views on the matter. It considered the principle of “arguability,” which means that there should be at least one valid ground for appeal worth discussing in court. The Court found that there were indeed arguable points in the intended appeal, justifying the suspension’s lifting.

Impact on Taxes

The lifting of the conservatory orders means that the Finance Act 2023 will now be operational unless otherwise challenged. Various tax measures and changes that were part of the Act will come into effect. This could affect individuals, workers, businesses, and businessmen in several ways:

  1. Tax Payments: With the Act operational, tax measures outlined in it will be applicable. Individuals and businesses will need to pay their taxes based on the updated regulations.
  2. Potential Refunds: If the Act is found to be unconstitutional in the future, taxpayers who have overpaid taxes may be eligible for refunds. However, this might not apply to all taxes and levies, especially those that are not reversible.
  3. Impact on the Economy: The implementation of the Finance Act 2023 can have far-reaching effects on the government’s revenue collection and expenditure. It may influence economic growth, public services, and the overall financial well- being of the country.

The Act, which was initially just a bill, has now been implemented following a recent Court of Appeal ruling. In this article, we will explore the key amendments brought about by the Finance Act 2023 and their impact on individuals, businesses, and taxpayers in the country.

Key Insights at a Glance

The Digital Asset Tax introduces a tax on digital assets like cryptocurrencies, audio files, podcasts, PDFs, logos, and videos upon their transfer or exchange.
PAYE Rate Increase proposes an increase in the PAYE rate for employees earning over Kshs. 500,000 from 30% to 35%.
The threshold for Turnover Tax (TOT) remains at KES 1 million, but the upper threshold has been reduced from KES 50 million to KES 25 million.
The Act removes provisions allowing individuals to pay VAT at a rate lower than the conventional 16%.
The Act introduces a provision requiring employers to contribute 1.5% of an employee’s basic monthly salary to the National Housing Development Fund.

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