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SportPesa: How Kenya Revenue Authority may have made massive error in its unpaid tax claim on betting giant

June 2021, by Lionel Faull and Ted Jeory

Embattled Kenyan betting giant SportPesa has “disputed” the astonishing Sh95 billion (£633 million) total that the Kenya Revenue Authority says it owes in unpaid taxes.

The figure, reported by the Daily Nation newspaper in January, is thought to be one of the biggest amounts ever claimed from a company by the Kenyan tax collector.

The Daily Nation article was based on a leaked letter from the KRA to SportPesa’s main entity in Kenya, Pevans East Africa, in which it detailed its findings from a preliminary audit of the company’s tax affairs from 2015 to 2019.

SportPesa – through London law firm Schillings – told Finance Uncovered this month the headline Sh95 billion figure was “not a formal finding by KRA or even a formal assessment”.

It added that the KRA had “simply [undertaken] an information-gathering exercise” that is still “in its preliminary stages”.

Schillings said its client “disputed” the figure and because the letter was not a formal assessment there was “no question” of it taking it yet to a Tax Appeals Tribunal. Schillings declined to answer detailed questions about the matter, insisting the letter was confidential.

The KRA, likewise, declined to answer detailed questions.

Full story: Finance Uncovered