Keroche
Naivasha-based brewer Keroche has agreed to remit Kes957 million to the government in unpaid taxes in the next 24 months.

Keroche Breweries has agreed to pay Kes957 million in tax arrears to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) within two years.

The payments, which start in January this year, will only be for “taxes owing and not in dispute” between the KRA and the company.

The deal will also see the Naivasha-based company reopen its production lines after weeks of remaining shut following a protracted fight with the tax authority.

“We take this opportunity to extend our gratitude to the people of Kenya for your patience as you waited for the re-opening of the company. As we reopen, your patronage and support are key so that we can continue creating more jobs for our fellow Kenyans,” Keroche said in a statement to newsrooms.

KRA said the alternative dispute resolution agreement was signed on March 14 after week-long negotiations between the parties.

Following the truce, KRA has also vacated the agency notices it had issued to 36 banks barring the brewer from access to any form of financing.

Read also: KRA out-of-court deals rise to 319 in six months

Overall, KRA maintains that Keroche has a bill of nearly Kes23 billion in unpaid taxes that have been piling up over the years.

The taxman says the maker of Summit Lager and Summit Malt brands has been collecting taxes from consumers but not wiring the same to the exchequer when due.

“By allowing any taxpayer to continue collecting taxes and not remitting the same, KRA will not be executing her mandate of ensuring that taxes that fall due are remitted in a timely manner and that all taxpayers remit their fair share of taxes,” the taxman explained in an earlier statement.

Company CEO and founder Tabitha Karanja appealed to KRA to allow it to resume operations as the firm prepares a repayment plan, noting that it had over two million liters of brew in its blending chambers worth about Kes512 million that would cost Kes30 million per month to maintain.

Meanwhile Keroche is appealing to MPs to consider review of some of the existing laws and enactment of new ones to give incentives and facilitate local businesses to weather current economic hardships hurting the industry.

“We note with appreciation the short-term tax incentives that were given in 2020 when COVID-19 Pandemic hit the country. However, more measures such as granting moratoriums, extended payment periods, waivers, etc can go a long way in giving new lease of life to local entrepreneurs and give them a competitive edge against large multinationals,” the company said.

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