Global gambling company Betway ordered to pay Kenyan taxes

The Tax Appeals Tribunal has ordered the Kenyan unit of global online gambling company Betway to pay KShs158 million (US$1.5 million) to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

In a statement on Wednesday, KRA commissioner for legal services and board coordination Paul Matuku said the Tribunal ruled in favor of the revenue authority in a case in which Betway Kenya objected to the payment of its various tax obligations.

The betting firm sought to stop the KRA from demanding additional withholding tax on winnings derived from bets placed by punters and pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) on the income of one of its employees that the company claimed to have retained as an independent consultant.

The Tribunal ordered the Betway Kenya to pay KShs9.95 million, capital costs relating to research and processing costs of KShs16.5 million and outstanding withholding tax based on gross winnings of KShs131.7 million, inclusive of penalty and interest as at the time of the assessment.

“The Tribunal held that the company had computed outstanding withholding tax on net winnings contrary to Section 34 of the Finance Act, 2016 that was applicable for the duration under review. On withholding tax on professional fees, it observed that from 1st March 2016 to 12th October 2016 a period of seven months, John Felix Kittony was an independent contractor … but became an employee immediately he was appointed director, and the company was liable to withhold and remit PAYE from that time.”

– Matuku said.

Source: African News Agency (ANA)

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