Updates on Key Legislation March 2017
A list of legislation gazetted in March along with an analysis of the key legal developments involving immigration, tax and property.
March 2017 Legislation
Click here for a round up of legislation gazetted in March.
The Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2016 (KICA)
The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill, 2016 proposed key changes to KICA to tighten the requirements for obtaining citizenship through marriage and for permanent residency. The Bill required the applying spouse to have held residency status for seven years in addition to the current requirement of having been married for seven years. The Bill also proposed to remove the current seven day limit that an immigration official can hold a person’s travel documents to ‘a period of time as may be reasonable in the circumstances’.
A Recent Court Decision on the Validity of Certain Land Titles
A recent decision of the High Court of Kenya has called into question the validity of titles deeds issued after 2013. The Court held that the regulations and forms issued by the Cabinet Secretary under the Land Registration Act, 2012 did not follow the prescribed procedure and therefore any titles issued using the forms were unconstitutional, null and void. The Court also took the unusual, step of declaring that the order would not be effective until 20th December 2017 giving the Government time to rectify the position. It also declared the decision would not act retroactively.
Tax Amnesty on Overseas Employment Income
The Government is offering any Kenyan resident in receipt of overseas employment income a tax amnesty. Initially, the amnesty period was set for one year, from 1st January 2017 to 31st December 2017. However, following the 2017/18 Budget statement, the Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury extended the amnesty to 31st June 2018. There is still a level of uncertainty on how the amnesty will work and the declaration form is yet to be made available.
A Review on the High Court’s Decision on Capital Gains
This month the High Court has produced another landmark decision when it declared the requirement to pay capital gains tax before the transfer of the property unconstitutional.
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