LSK to sue KRA over Housing Levy deductions

The Kenya Revenue Authority Commissioner General has run into trouble with the Law Society of Kenya for continuing to deduct Housing Levy from the civil servants despite court order declaring section 84 of the Finance Act, 2023 unconstitutional.

LSK outgoing President Erick Theuri said that the society will be moving to court this week to file a case against KRA Humphrey Wattanga, stating that they have been shocked by the KRA’s move which disregards the rule of law.

In a statement issued on Monday and read by LSK President-elect Faith Odhiambo, the society stated that it was shocking that even after Attorney-General Justin Muturi cautioned KRA, it was still continuing to collect the controversial levy.

Ms Odhaimabo said that they have noticed that KRA and other government agencies have continued to deduct and remit to KRA the housing law.

“There is no legal basis to deduct the housing levy, and this action amounts to contempt of court and arbitrary imposition of tax. The Law Society of Kenya shall immediately commence contempt of court proceedings against the Commissioner General of KRA as well as against all accounting officers and employers who have unlawfully deducted the housing levy,” LSK said.

The society said that its move has been prompted by the outcries from a section of civil servants who have been complaining of deduction despite of the court order.

The affected civil servants have been asked to escalate the matter by sharing their recent pays lips to help LSK with its case.

“We call upon all employees who have suffered this illegal deduction to get in touch with the Law Society through an email address and share their salaries pay slips to facilitate the filing of the application seeking refund of the illegally deducted dues.”

LSK has also asked KRA and other accounting officers to note that at the moment, there is no law authorising the implementation of a Housing Levy, and that taxes cannot be collected in the absence of an enabling legislation

LSK President Erick Theuri has asked civil servants to submit their pay slips to society through its official email, which will be used as evidence before the court.

At the same time, the government has been criticised for turning a deaf ear to complaints by the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) about delays in posting medical interns and paying fees for postgraduate students.

On the injuries sustained by KMPDU Secretary General Dr Davji Atellah during their peaceful demonstrations which saw him being hit by tear gas canister, LSK said that the police should apologise and desist from using excessive force against peaceful demonstrators.

“LSK will join in solidarity with KMPDU in talking all necessary action to ensure justice is served for Dr Davji. We demand that the Inspector General of police and IPOA take immediate steps to hold the rogue individuals who committed this heinous attack personally liable.”

Ms Odhiambo is expected to take over the office of LSK President on March 22 following her victory in the just concluded election.

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