Praise for Justice Odunga as he deals a blow to KRA on ‘minimum tax’ being ‘unconstitutional’

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High Court Judge George Odunga, one of the four Judges qualified to be an appellate court judge but not appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta, has dealt government plans for additional revenue a major blow by ordering a stop to it.

Mr Odunga declared the minimum tax provisions unconstitutional and the minimum tax guidelines void and directed Kenya Revenue Authority not to collect the same.

The High Court in Machakos blacklisted a section of Tax Laws (Amendment) whose passage drew sharp reactions from the private sector.

All businesses were expected to pay the 1% levy on total sales from the beginning of 2021 even as they battle the adverse effects of the Covid19 pandemic.

The development comes as a major relief for tens of thousands of struggling businesses of all sizes and shades.

The budget deficit is likely to grow bigger and strain public finances by a further Sh21 billion in a country where nearly two-thirds of the budget is funded by public debt which has broken the Sh9 trillion ceiling set by government.

In December 2018, Justice Odunga declared as illegal a gazette notice by Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) that prescribed salary cuts and abolished allowances including mileage and car grants.

His decision effectively halted the SRC effort to control the salaries of State officers that was intended to address the spiraling public wage bill

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