TAX DISPUTES AND LITIGATION

Tax Disputes and Litigation Services

Welcome to Clay & Associates Advocates, your trusted partner in tax disputes and litigation services!

Taking on the Kenya Revenue Authority can be incredibly stressful. Our advocates provide practical advice on any dispute with the KRA and have extensive experience supporting, among others, individuals, small businesses, technology startups, large companies, and corporate entities.

Contact us today for expert tax disputes and litigation support.

Tax Lawyers

OUR SERVICES

Tax disputes can have serious consequences. You can face large penalty payments or even criminal charges if you don’t cooperate with KRA investigations. It’s vital to get legal advice as soon as possible to manage these risks.

No matter the issue at hand, our goal will always be to reach an amicable resolution as soon as possible, not least due to the reputational impact and cost saving of avoiding litigation.  We can assist clients through Alternative Dispute Resolution to negotiate a settlement with the KRA, particularly when communications have broken down, or there is a misunderstanding of the facts.

However, where litigation is unavoidable, we regularly act on full-on appeals before the Tax Appeals Tribunal, the High Court, and the Court of Appeal.

Our experienced tax lawyers provide expert advice and guidance in areas such as:

  • VAT Disputes
  • Employment (PAYE) disputes
  • Tax residence and domicile
  • Income tax disputes
  • Customs and excise duties appeals
  • Corporation tax disputes

We have a detailed understanding of the tax compliance needs of our clients, which span companies, corporate bodies, partnerships, individuals, and trustees. We advise these clients on complex cross-border compliance issues and work with professionals in other jurisdictions to provide a complete and efficient service.

So whatever your problem or situation, our highly-trained and experienced team has seen it all before. To get started, please contact us to discuss your requirements and arrange a legal assessment.

Choose Us

ON YOUR SIDE

Before any fees, we’ll first schedule a consultation to listen and learn more about your situation.

The session is an hour long, and there are no obligations to engage our services afterward.

As part of the consultation, we’ll lean on our years of experience as tax lawyers to suggest the best solution for you or your business.

In an ever-shifting legal landscape, our expert tax lawyers understand that it’s essential to quickly identify, and respond to, changes in Kenyan tax law. Having a thorough understanding of the market and KRA’s litigation and settlement strategy means our team of specialist tax compliance lawyers can take a strategic approach to a range of complex tax compliance issues.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let us be your trusted advisor in all your tax disputes and litigation legal matters.

Contact

OUR OFFICE
Nextgen Mall, 3rd Floor, Suite 34, Nairobi.
WORKING HOURS
Mon-Fri: 8 am – 5 pm

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between tax litigation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for tax issues in Kenya?

Both tax litigation and ADR are options for resolving tax disputes with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in Kenya, but they differ significantly in approach:

Tax Litigation:

  • Formal Process: Involves filing a case with the Tax Appeals Tribunal (TAT) or Kenyan courts.
  • Adversarial: Each side argues their position, aiming to convince a judge or tribunal member of their case’s merits.
  • Lengthy & Costly: Court proceedings can take months or even years, and legal fees can be substantial.
  • Public Record: The details of the dispute become part of the public court record.
  • Outcome: A judge or tribunal member delivers a binding decision, favoring one party over the other.

ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution):

  • Informal Process: Utilizes negotiation, mediation, or facilitation for an out-of-court settlement.
  • Collaborative: Focuses on finding a mutually agreeable solution through guided discussion.
  • Faster & Less Costly: ADR typically resolves issues quicker and at a lower cost compared to litigation.
  • Confidential: The details of the dispute remain confidential unless both parties agree otherwise.
  • Outcome: If successful, a settlement agreement is reached that both parties can accept.

Choosing the Right Option:

  • Suitable for Litigation: Complex disputes with significant tax amounts at stake, or where a strong legal precedent needs to be established.
  • Suitable for ADR: Simpler disputes, situations where maintaining a good relationship with the KRA is important, or when a faster resolution is desired.
How much does it cost to hire a lawyer for a tax dispute in Kenya?

It’s difficult to provide an exact cost for hiring our law firm’s services for a dispute with the KRA as fees can vary depending on several factors:

  • Complexity of the Case: Straightforward disputes with smaller tax amounts will likely cost less than intricate cases involving significant sums or complex legal issues.
  • Lawyer’s Experience: Lawyers with extensive experience and a proven track record in tax litigation typically command higher fees compared to those with less experience.
  • Billing Structure: Depending on your unique needs, we may use different billing structures. In some cases we charge by the hour, with rates ranging from as low as Ksh 3,000 to Ksh 15,000 (US$30 – US$150) or more per hour depending on experience and seniority within our firm. In other situations, we may offer flat fees for specific services or retainer agreements for ongoing representation.

Here are some suggestions for getting a better idea of the cost:

  • Consultations: we offer a low-cost consultation fee of Ksh 3,000 per hour (USD$30) where you can discuss your case with us and get an estimate of our fees immediately after or sometimes during the consultation.
  • Direct Communication: Contact us directly and enquire about our experience in tax disputes and our fee structure.

Remember, the initial consultation is a crucial opportunity to discuss your case, understand our approach, and get a clearer picture of the potential costs involved.

What documents and information should I gather before consulting a lawyer about a tax dispute?

Before consulting our law firm about a tax dispute with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), gathering relevant documents and information will help us understand your better situation and advise you more effectively. Here’s a list of what to bring:

KRA Documents:

  • Tax Assessment: This document outlines the disputed tax amount, penalties (if applicable), and the basis for the KRA’s assessment.
  • Objection Letter (if applicable): If you already filed an objection with the KRA, bring a copy of your objection letter and any response you received.
  • Communication Records: Any correspondence (emails, letters) you’ve had with the KRA regarding the disputed tax assessment.

Financial Records:

  • Tax Returns: Copies of your tax returns for the relevant years in question.
  • Supporting Documents: Documentation that supports your tax position, such as receipts, invoices, bank statements, or depreciation schedules.
  • Financial Statements: If you’re a business owner, bring your company’s financial statements for the relevant period.

Additional Information:

  • Nature of the Dispute: Clearly explain the reason you disagree with the KRA’s assessment.
  • Timeline: Provide a timeline of events leading up to the dispute, including any interactions with the KRA.
  • Desired Outcome: Articulate what you hope to achieve by consulting our tax lawyers (e.g., negotiate with the KRA, appeal to the Tax Appeals Tribunal, TAT, etc.)
  • Previous Legal Representation: If you’ve had any prior legal representation regarding this dispute, disclose that information to us at the onset.

Being Organized:

  • Organize your documents chronologically, with the most recent on top.
  • If there’s a large volume of documents, consider creating an index for easy reference.
  • Make copies of all documents you bring to our law firm, keeping the originals for your records.

Additional Tips:

  • If there are specific aspects of the tax code you believe are relevant to your case, highlight those for us during the consultation.
  • Jot down any questions you have for us beforehand.

By gathering this information beforehand, you’ll be well-prepared for your consultation and enable our law firm to provide more specific and tailored advice regarding your tax dispute with the KRA.

What are the deadlines for appealing a tax assessment in Kenya?

Deadlines for appealing a tax assessment in Kenya are strict and missing them can significantly limit your options. Here’s a breakdown of the key deadlines:

Objection to KRA Assessment:

  • You have 30 days from the date you receive the tax assessment from the KRA to file a formal objection. This is the initial step to challenge the assessment.

Appeal to Tax Appeals Tribunal (TAT):

  • If the KRA doesn’t resolve your objection to your satisfaction, you have 30 days from the date you receive their decision to appeal to the TAT.

Court Litigation:

  • There isn’t a specific timeframe for initiating court proceedings; however, significant delays might weaken your case. It’s crucial to consult with our law firm as soon as possible after receiving an unfavorable response from the KRA to discuss litigation options and any relevant deadlines.

Remember: It’s important to act promptly and not wait until the last minute to file an objection or appeal. Missing these deadlines could result in the KRA’s assessment becoming final and enforceable.

Here are some additional points to consider:

  • Written Proof: Keep copies of all documents submitted to the KRA as proof of timely filing.

Following these guidelines can help ensure you don’t miss any crucial deadlines and maintain your right to challenge a disputed tax assessment in Kenya.

What evidence will be needed to win a tax dispute case in Kenya?

The specific evidence needed to win a tax dispute case in Kenya depends on the nature of the dispute, but here are some general categories of evidence that can be helpful:

Documentation from the KRA:

  • The original tax assessment you received from the KRA.
  • Any correspondence you’ve had with the KRA regarding the disputed assessment, including objection letters and their responses.

Financial Records:

  • Copies of your tax returns for the relevant years in question.
  • Supporting documents for your tax position, such as receipts, invoices, bank statements for all accounts operated, loan schedules and statements, your fixed assets register, payroll and salary sheets, and debtors and creditors listings. We will assess which documents are relevant and which ones aren’t.
  • If you’re a business owner, bring your company’s financial statements for the relevant period.

Additional Supporting Evidence:

  • Contracts and Agreements: Agreements relevant to the disputed tax issue, such as contracts with suppliers, customers, or business partners.
  • Expert Opinions: Testimony from qualified accountants, tax professionals, or other experts who can provide insights relevant to the dispute.
  • Emails and Records of Communication: Emails or any records of communication that support your claims or timeline of events.
  • Witness Statements: Statements from individuals with knowledge of the facts pertaining to the dispute.

Building a Strong Case

The key is to gather evidence that directly addresses the specific reasons for your disagreement with the KRA’s assessment.

Here are some additional tips for strengthening your case:

  • Accuracy and Completeness: Ensure all documents and information you present are accurate and complete.
  • Organization: Organize your evidence logically, making it easy for the KRA representatives or a court of law to understand your arguments.
  • Relevance: Only submit evidence directly relevant to the disputed tax issue.

Burden of Proof:

It’s important to understand that the burden of proof typically lies with the taxpayer in Kenya unlike in most cases in common law jurisdictions, even in Kenya, where the term, “Whoever desires any court to give judgment as to any legal right or liability dependent on existence of facts which he asserts must prove“. This means you’ll need to present enough evidence to convince a court that the KRA’s assessment is incorrect.

What are the advantages of using ADR to resolve a tax dispute?

ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) offers several advantages over traditional litigation for resolving tax disputes with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in Kenya:

  • Faster and Less Expensive: ADR processes are generally quicker and less costly compared to lengthy court battles. This can save you time, money, and legal fees associated with litigation.

  • Confidentiality: ADR proceedings are confidential, meaning the details of the dispute are not made public. This can be beneficial for businesses or individuals who want to avoid negative publicity associated with tax disputes.

  • Preserves Relationships: ADR can help maintain a good working relationship with the KRA, which can be important for future interactions. Unlike the adversarial nature of litigation, ADR focuses on finding a solution that works for both parties.

  • Mutually Agreed-Upon Solution: Through ADR, you and the KRA collaborate to reach a solution that is agreeable to both sides. This can lead to a more satisfying outcome than a court-imposed decision.

  • Less Stressful: ADR can be a less stressful and more informal process compared to the adversarial environment of courtroom litigation.

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