Choppies Supermarket bank accounts frozen over Sh173m tax dispute

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The High Court in Nairobi has ruled in favour of KRA in a case filed by Choppies Enterprises Limited (Choppies) seeking to unfreeze their accounts pending resolution of an ongoing tax dispute.

Choppies, a retail supermarket chain with origins in Botswana, had filed an application in court under Certificate of Urgency seeking to unfreeze their accounts pending completion of an ongoing tax dispute.

KRA froze Choppies’ bank accounts to secure owed taxes amounting to Sh173,388,416. The taxman says the move was informed by the fact that Choppies a retailer that took over Ukwala Supermarkets Limited was in the process of winding up business in Kenya.

KRA also presented evidence in court showing that Choppies has already sold their branches, assets and stocks to Tusker Mattresses, Chandarana and Quickmart supermarkets, as well as Appmatt Limited without informing KRA in spite of the ongoing dispute.

KRA documents.

Choppies was faulted for not disclosing their financial position, “they did not disclose how much was held in their accounts and that they would realize from the sales of the assets.” The retailer was ordered to provide security for taxes to be found due and payable to KRA in view of the fact that they are closing business in Kenya.

The court gave Choppies and KRA 14 days to explore an amicable settlement of the tax dispute.