Keroche Breweries owners suffered a blow on Monday after the Tax Appeals Tribunal ordered the local brewers to pay Ksh 9,116,835,985o in taxes.
This is after the Kenya Revenue Authority won six appeal cases filed by Keroche owners Tabitha Mukami Mungai and Joseph Karanja.
In the three appeals before the court, the contention was in the manufacturing process of Vienna Ice Brand of Vodka.
Keroche argued that Vienna Ice brand of Vodka was produced by diluting Crescent Vodka, a process that did not amount to manufacturing.
While KRA relied on the compounding of denatured spirits Act cap 123, arguing that the process undertaken by Keroche Breweries was compounding within the meaning of the act.
“Keroche Breweries Limited was involved in the compounding of spirit which amounts to manufacture within the meaning in Excise Duty Act, 2015 and Customs and Excise Act, CAP 472 (repealed)as such Vienna Ice was a distinct product for which Excise Duty was payable,” the Tribunal said in its ruling on Monday.
“With regard to Fortified wines produced by the Brewer, the Tribunal guided by the World Customs Organization explanatory notes on HS code found that HS code 22.04 was for grape based wines and the correct classification was HS code 22.06 as the Keroche’s wine is a mixture of fermented pineapple and alcohol.”
In August of last year, the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji ordered the arrest of the billionaire couple over allegations of evading taxes amounting to Sh14 billion.