Scope Of The Act
This Is The Tribunal Established To Hear Appeals Filed Against any Tax Decision Made By The Commissioner In Relation to Any Of The Following Tax Laws:
(a) The Income Tax Act; .
(b) The Customs And Excise Act;
(c) The Value Added Tax;
(d) The East African Community Customs Management Act, 2004;
(e) Any Other Tax Legislation Administered By The Commissioner;
The Tribunal shall consist of a Chairperson and not less than fifteen but not more than twenty other members, who shall, subject to this Act, be appointed by the Cabinet Secretary upon such terms and conditions of service as the Cabinet Secretary may determine. (Section 4 and 5).
The Chairperson shall be responsible for ensuring the orderly and expeditious discharge of the mandate of the Tribunal. (Section 9(1))
The Chairperson shall:
(a) constitute a panel to hear any matter before the Tribunal;
(b) determine the place at which a panel may sit; and
(c) determine the procedure for the conduct of the business of the Tribunal.
A person who disputes the decision of the Commissioner on any matter arising under the provisions of any tax law may, subject to the provisions of the relevant tax law (Section 12),
d. Service of the Appeal
e. Commissioner’s Response to Appeal
Under Section 30 and 38 of the Act, the appellant has the burden of proving the Commissioner made a mistake and to show:
A certificate from the Commissioner stating that any amount is due from any person by way of tax, or other liability under this Act, shall be conclusive evidence that the amount is due and payable from that person. The burden of proving that any tax has been paid or that any goods or services are exempt from payment of tax shall lie on the person liable to pay the tax or claiming that the tax has been paid or that the goods or services are exempt from payment of tax. Similarly, a statement by the Commissioner that a person is registered or is not registered under this Act, shall be conclusive evidence of the fact unless that person proves the contrary.
For the hearing of proceedings before the Tribunal, the appellant may appear in person or be represented by a tax agent (Section 25).
Under Section 28 the Parties can apply to the Tribunal to be allowed to settle the matter privately. The Tribunal may give some conditions. The Parties report to the Tribunal the outcome of the dispute.
Where the Tribunal awards costs in any appeal, it shall, on application by the person to whom the costs are awarded, issue to him a certificate stating the amount of costs.
Every certificate for Costs issued may be filed in the High Court by the person in whose favour the costs are awarded and, upon being so filed, shall be deemed to be a decree of the High Court and may be executed as such: Except that an order for the costs against the Government shall be enforce in the manner provided for by the Government Proceedings Act.
Obligations of the Tribunal Generally:
Powers of the Tribunal during a proceeding ( Section 18, 20, 23, 28, 31)
In carrying out its duties, the Tribunal has the power to:
(a) take evidence on oath;
(b) proceed in the absence of a party who has reasonable notice of the proceedings; and
(c) adjourn the hearing of the proceedings.
(d ) summon a person to appear before it (i) to give evidence; or(ii) to produce books, documents or things mentioned in the summons.
(e) receive evidence by affidavit
(f) administer interrogations and require the persons to whom interrogations are administered to make a full and true reply to the interrogations.
(g) to request for examination of witnesses abroad.
(h)with the Chairman’s approval to engage the service of an independent expert in any proceedings and rely on such evidence to reach a decision.
(i) provide conditions for an out of tribunal agreement on request of the Parties.
(j) issue certificate of costs.
(k)make an order staying or otherwise affecting the operation or implementation of the decision under review as it considers appropriate for the purposes of securing the effectiveness of the proceeding and determination of the appeal.(Section 18)
The tribunal to be chaired by Mr Moses Buyuka Obonyo was appointed by Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury Henry Rotich pursuant to section 4(1) of the Tax Appeals Tribunal Act, with effect from 1st April, 2015.
1. Moses Buyuka Obonyo
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