James Karanja

James Karanja

Associate Director | ALN Kenya | Anjarwalla & Khanna

Physical Address:

ALN House, Eldama Ravine Close, Off Eldama Ravine Road, Westlands, Nairobi

Postal Address:

P O Box 200-00606, Sarit Centre, Nairobi, Kenya


+254 (0) 703 032 153

Email Address:

  1. Background

    James is an Associate Director at ALN Kenya | Anjarwalla & Khanna and a member of the Tax department. He specialises in international tax matters, transfer pricing audits, investigations, tax policy and legislative reforms.

    James has over 22 years of experience, having worked at Kenya Revenue Authority as Head of the International Tax office Domestic Taxes Department; the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development as Head of the Secretariat Tax Inspectors Without Borders Programme, and most recently, serving as the Head of Transfer Pricing at Andersen Tax in Nairobi.

    He has a wealth of experience in international tax matters and transfer pricing across the globe, which led to his recognition as one of the top 50 most influential global tax personalities, in 2017, by International Tax Review magazine. He is an accomplished speaker at various international tax meetings and conferences. James has been involved in the leadership of the African Tax Administration Forum Cross Border Technical Committee, leading the African responses to the OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project. He is also well versed in tax transparency issues, having represented Kenya in the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes Steering Committee and served as a peer assessor. He is also the founding Director of Pan African Financing for Development Institute (PAFDI) and is highly regarded by revenue authorities across Africa, having worked with most of them while on multiple mandates within the KRA, OECD, GIZ and Africa Tax Administration Forum.

    James is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, a member of the Law Society in Kenya (LSK) and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya Branch). He holds a Master of Public Policy and Management (MPPM) degree from Strathmore University and an LL.B from the University of Nairobi.

  2. Professional Membership
    • Law Society of Kenya
    • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
    • PrinceII Project management Institute
  3. Professional Qualifications

    2015: Master of Public Policy and Management (MPPM), Strathmore University

    2000: Postgraduate Diploma in Law, Kenya School of Law

    1999: Bachelor of Laws (LL. B), University of Nairobi

  4. Career Summary

    2022 – Date: Director, Anjarwalla & Khanna LLP

    2021 – 2022: Head of Transfer Pricing, Andersen Tax Kenya

    2016 – 2020: Head of Secretariat, Tax Inspectors Without Borders

    2015 – 2016: Head of International Tax Office, Kenya Revenue Authority

    2011 – 2014: Principal Revenue Officer, Kenya Revenue Authority (Domestic Tax Department (DTD) Large Taxpayers Office Audit Division)

    2006 – 2011: Senior/Principal Revenue Officer, Kenya Revenue Authority (Investigation & Enforcement Department)

    2003: Technical Adviser/Personal Assistant to the Chairman, Ministry of Transport & Communication (Busia Plane Crash Public Inquiry)

    2002 – 2002: Legal Assistant, Muthoga Gaturu Advocates

  5. Awards & Accolades
    • In 2017 James Karanja was ranked as a Top 50 Influential Tax people in the world by International Tax Review. This was in recognition of his efforts in leading an OECD/UNDP global capacity building project called tax Inspectors Without Borders programme, which gained global notoriety and support within the two years he led the programme.
  6. Top Matters
    • Advised several clients in connection with transfer pricing including, assisting in meeting local transfer pricing requirements; performing benchmarking studies on various industries; preparing OECD- compliant three-tier documentation reports and liaising and collaborating with professionals in delivering regional engagements.
    • Supported numerous clients in connection with identifying potential transfer pricing risks, performing studies to identify arm’s length pricing policies and advising on implementation of OECD-compliant transfer pricing practices.
    • Represented a Spanish conglomerate in connection with tax dispute settlement of USD 20 million .
    • Negotiating a double taxation dispute through the Mutual Agreement Programme between Kenya Revenue Authority with the United Kingdom
    • Handled several tax exchange of information requests within the framework of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes and Double tax agreements.
    • Extensively involved in providing technical input to the OECD G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project between 2015 and 2016 as a member of Working Party 1 on Tax Treaties and related mattters as well as the OECD Committee on Fiscal Affairs.

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