International School of Kenya (ISK) has been ordered to pay Ksh1.4 billion to Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in form of back taxes.
According to a report by the Nation on Thursday, August 12, the fine came about after the taxman discovered that the institution favored international workforce to their local counterparts.
KRA argued that the school ran separate payrolls in which workers from Canada and the United States were not subjected to Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax while locals workers were mandated to paying the money.
The taxes were backdated to four years.
The school had filed an appeal seeking the taxman blocked from demanding the colossal amount arguing that expatriates were protected by international immunity.
In their defence, the school argued that it assumed that it would be exempted from taxes after receiving a letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs allowing it to set up shop in Kenya in 1976.
The tax appeals tribunal, however, threw out the appeal
“The tribunal finds that neither the diplomatic composition of ISK board of governors nor diplomatic correspondence exchanged between the missions and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs conferred any privileges of immunity to ISK or its expatriate staff.
“The objection decision of March 2016 confirming the PAYE assessment in the sum of Sh1.4 billion is hereby upheld,” read the statement in part.
It was revealed that the lowest earning teacher made Ksh3.5 million.
The decision comes just two months after the taxman netted Ksh140 million from Brookhouse International School after lowering its school fees requirements for a section of its clientele.
The school was ordered to part with millions as tax owed to Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in May 2021.
The institution had reportedly subsidised tuition fees it offered to its staff members between 2010 and 2014.
After a review carried by the taxman and whose revelations were made public in 2017, KRA claimed that the tax arrears amounted to as much as Ksh186.6 million.
EPRA INCREASES FUEL PRICES
The Energy Petroleum and Regulatory Authority (EPRA) on Monday. March 14 announced an increase in fuel prices.
In its monthly review of the fuel prices, EPRA noted that the cost of Super petrol and diesel would each increase by Ksh 5 from tomorrow, Tuesday, March 15 to April 14.
Super Petrol will retail at Ksh134.72 per litre while diesel will go for Ksh115.60 at pump prices. On the other hand, Kerosene prices remain unchanged at Ksh103.54.
The newly announced prices are after the government implemented a Ksh 20 subsidy on the products. The actual prices of the petroleum products are Ksh 155 .11, Ksh143.16 for diesel and Ksh 130.44.
“Government will utilize the Petroleum Development Levy to cushion consumers from the otherwise high prices,” the statement read in part.
While the landing costs of petrol, diesel and kerosene range between Ksh71 and Ksh78, several taxes and levies push the price at the pump to nearly double.
Among them include excise duty, road maintenance levy, petroleum development levy, petroleum regulatory levy railway development levy, anti-adulteration levy, merchant shipping levy, import declaration fee and value-added tax (VAT).
For instance, the landing cost of Petrol is Ksh 78.14. It attracts distribution and storage costs of Ksh3.35 and taxes and levies totaling to Ksh59.71. However, a price stabilisation deficit of Ksh 6.48 is subtracted from the costs to bring it down to Ksh134.72.
The pronouncement by EPRA will further dent the pockets of Kenyans, who are facing difficult financial times owing to the ripple effect of increased costs. Some of the basic commodities that are set to increase in cost include cooking oil and milk
Over the last five months, the prices have remained the same despite the rise of the commodity in the global market – Ksh129.72 for super petrol, Ksh110.6 for diesel and Ksh103.54 for Kerosene.
Prior to today’s revision, EPRA had maintained the fuel prices five months since October 21, when the costs of petrol and diesel were lowered by Ksh5 per litre and that of diesel by Ksh7.28 per litre.
Before that, the three costs Ksh 134.72, diesel for Ksh115 and Kerosene retailed at Ksh110.2, a record high in the last five years.