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  • Writer's pictureInternational Lawyers Project

ILP Partners with the Committee on Fiscal Studies to Provide Training to Members of the Kenya Tax Appeals Tribunal

By Mary Ongore


Eric Nyongesa (Chair of the Tax Appeals Tribunal, Mary Ongore (ILP Legal Manager Sustainable Finance), Bosire Nyamori (Member of the CFS), Ngina Mutava (Associate Director of the Tax Research Centre), Joan Atim (Vice Chair of the CFS), Gabriel Kitenga (IMF expert) and ILP Executive Director, Lucy Claridge, at the training event.


The International Lawyers Project (ILP), in collaboration with the Committee on Fiscal Studies (CFS), conducted a training for 21 members of the Kenyan Tax Appeals Tribunal between 29th January and 1st February 2024 in Nairobi. The training session was aimed at improving the rule of law by increasing access to justice, strengthening institutions, increasing legal certainty, and improving public trust.

 

The purpose of ILP’s training was to deepen the understanding of Tribunal members on various aspects of income and corporate tax as well as customs and excise duty. This is particularly important as the Tribunal is the forum of first instance for the resolution of tax disputes. Given that some members of the Tribunal did not have a tax background, building their capacity was important. Prior to the training, ILP and CFS conducted a needs assessment to help the members identify their knowledge gaps and training goals.

 

On the first day, Bosire Nyamori (CFS) discussed the legal framework of Kenya’s tax system, and the source and residence principles. Joan Atim (CFS) then covered the principles of statutory interpretation and the use of legal precedent. On the second day, Ngina Mutava took the members of the Tribunal through different types of legal entities and the tax implications of using each. This was followed by a discussion on the tax issues arising during the life cycle of corporations. On the third day, Bosire Nyamori went through corporate structures and reorganisations. This was followed by a Q&A session on emerging issues run by Ngina Mutava. Finally, on the fourth day, Gabriel Kitenga took the members of the TAT through the fundamentals of customs duties and excise duties.

 

Having covered the fundamentals of domestic tax, customs and excise, the members of the Tribunal were able to deepen their knowledge on fundamental principles. They also left better equipped to understand technical issues that they grapple with while conducting their role and were able to discuss and seek clarification on the more complex aspects of taxation that they encounter on a day-to-day basis. In addition, the session enabled Tribunal members to learn soft skills, such as writing judgments. Overall, the knowledge gained during the trainings will allow Tribunal members to carry out their roles to a higher standard, which will contribute to increasing public trust in the Tribunal, vital for a forum of first instance in taxation matters.

 

The dissemination of this training was in line with ILP’s goal to advance access to justice through capacity building. We rely on our network of pro bono legal experts to enable citizens’ access to efficient and predictable dispute resolution mechanisms.

 

The training was made possible by funding provided by ROLE UK.


Members of the Tax Appeals Tribunal and ILP attending the training in Kenya



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