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Egyptian government to put VAT law to new parliament

Ahram Online , Sunday 8 Nov 2015
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Views: 1337

The Egyptian government has postponed a new value-added tax law until the convening of a parliament in December, Abdel-Moneim Mattar, head of the tax authority, told business daily Al-Mal.

The tax was originally supposed to be passed around this time, said Mattar.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi currently holds the power to issue laws, but Egyptians are in the process of voting for the first parliament since 2012; once the multi-stage elections are complete in December, the new chamber will have legislative authority.

In September, the finance minister said that imposing VAT would have a one-time impact on prices of all goods excluding foods, raising them by between 0.5 and 2.5 percent.

The tax is part of the government's fiscal reform programme, which includes cuts to expensive energy subsidies and the introduction of other new tax measures, and aims to containing the country’s budget deficit, which reached 10.5 percent of GDP in the last fiscal year.

The finance ministry estimated earlier this year that VAT could raise tax revenues by around LE32 billion ($4.1 billion).

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