By Islam Zayed
Meetings with the minister of finance have discussed amendments to the tax code, according to sources at Egypt’s Tax Authority. The first proposal was to decrease the rates of previous tax amendments and to remove clauses that have a negative effect on the general public. The second was to present a new draft of amended tax laws that would raise the tax exemption limit to EGP 15,000.
Sources stated the amount of revenue collected by the government this year would reach EGP 15 bn, a decrease from the previous estimate of EGP 20 bn.
Food products and oils would be exempt from new tax increases in order to avoid new crises. The 10% tax on industrial products made from flour and potatoes would also be lifted, because of the large effect this would have on consumers.
The Ministry of Finance was conducting a study to remove iron ore from its “A list” of products, with its tax rate remaining at 8% until it could be further decreased at a later date. Ways to remove the EGP 25 tax on microchips were also being discussed.
Sources within the committee said there was debate over whether soda water would be considered a public or private product. There were also discussions to move the sales tax rate to 60% with the used deductions rate, to move its accounts to the same state as in 2005.
Regarding taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, sources stated that their rates may increase again to make up for the removal of other tax amendment suggestions. However the new rate is yet to be determined.
Regarding the stamp tax, sources stated that tax brackets for advertisements would be eliminated and replaced with a 15% unified tax.
Sources further stated that the tax exemption rate would increase from EGP 9,000 to EGP 15,000 until the government was able to absorb its new tax increases.