The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said on Sunday that it will not allow third parties to access bank account data belonging to companies or individuals, referring to a proposal by the country’s Tax Authority to amend the law to allow access to account data by the finance ministry.
In an official statement, CBE governor Tarek Amer said that the bank will not accept amendments to the income tax act that would allow the finance ministry access to company accounts.
The statements by Amer came a few hours after the head of the country’s Tax Authority Emad Samy told Enterprise on Sunday that the finance ministry is seeking access to corporate bank data under proposed amendments to the income tax act to help combat tax evasion.
Samy said the amendment will require discussion with the central bank to ensure that the language conforms to the Central Bank Act, explaining that under the proposed measure, the ministry would have to make a formal request to the CBE to be allowed to view bank data or investigate suspicious activity.
Amer stressed that the central bank will continue to preserve the confidentiality of bank accounts. He has also called on Samy not to exceed his authority.
Egypt said last July that it is planning major amendments to the tax code during the next legislative term to facilitate and streamline tax procedures and cut red tape.