Nairobi — The Supreme Court has dismissed an application by a claimant seeking a reward from the Kenya Revenue Authority for sharing a formula to curb rental tax fraud.
The apex court cited flawed procedure in dismissing the petition by Lawrence Miruka who sought judicial review from the Supreme Court despite a similar application pending at the Court of Appeal.
“There is neither an appeal nor an intended appeal preferred to this Court from the Court of Appeal. The applicant has not made reference to any decision by the Court of Appeal in the present case,” the ruling delivered on Friday read.
Supreme Court further noted the petitioner failed to meet the legal requirements as envisaged in Article 163 of the constitution for the apex court to review a matter.
The petitioner had demanded a reward from KRA saying he had given ideas, information, and intelligence for which he had not been rewarded.
Miruka said he had given the taxman information to map out and register all landlords, estate property owners, estate agents and curb tax evaders.
He had filed the case before the High Court but it declined to enter judgment in default and dismissed his petition.
Article 163 (4) provides that Appeals shall lie from the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court as of right in any case involving the interpretation or application of the Constitution or in any other case in which the Supreme Court, or the Court of Appeal, certifies that a matter of general public importance is involved.
Miruka had asked the Supreme Court to certify the matter as urgent saying he had faced threats and intimidation.
“As we held in Hermanus Phillipus Steyn v Giovanni GnecchiRuscone Sup Ct. Application No. 4 of 2013  eKLR, it is trite law that a Court of law has to be moved under the correct provisions of the law, which the applicant has failed to do,” the ruling read.
The petition comes a year after KRA stated that it had initiated a mapping exercise using geographical information system (GIS) to mark out residential buildings in Nairobi and other urban centers with the aim of verifying their compliance with the payment of rental income tax.
The process involves KRA agents physically identifying residential buildings block by block and feeding that information to a block management system (BMS) which then accurately captures the number of buildings in a certain area.
When the tax was introduced, landlords earning gross rental income of between Sh144,000 and Sh10 million a year were required to pay 10 per cent as rental income tax.
The requirement was revised in 2022 to gross earnings of at least Sh288,000 on the lower end and Sh15 million on the upper limit.
A landlord is required to pay rental income tax by the 20th of the following month if they have not applied for the annual tax payment option.
Late compliance attracts an Sh2,000 penalty or five per cent of the rental income tax due.