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9 million housing units exempt from real estate tax

The minister of finance stated that almost 9 million housing units are excluded from the real estate tax, which went into effect January, 2011

Ahram online, Wednesday 5 Jan 2011
Real estate tax1
9 million housing units were excluded form paying the real estate tax according to press release by the minsitry of finance. (photo: Reuters)
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Almost 9 million housing units are to be exempted from the real estate tax, most of which used to pay the tax under the previous law, said Minister of Finance Youssef Boutros Ghali in a press release on Wednesday.

Under the new law, which went into effect January, 2011, every unit is to receive an annual exemption of nearly $1,035, compared to the $3 exemption stipulated in the old law.

Consequently, 84.6 per cent of housing units in the 6th of October and Elsheikh Zayed Cairo suburbs are now exempt from taxes, according to Tarek Farag, head of Egypt's Real Estate Tax Authority. A census of housing units is made using the latest automated device called PDA, where a detailed map of Egypt is uploaded.

Introduced in 2009, the new real estate law caused public discontent and was met by great opposition, mainly for its reevaluation procedures that are set to take place every five years.

The law states that units of a market value of LE500,000 and above will be taxed LE30 per year, while units valued at LE1 million will be taxed LE 660 annually, according to Al-Ahram Weekly.

Taxes are also due on rented units, after the deduction of 30 per cent of the maintenance costs.

Hotels, factories, oil facilities and ports are still out of tax pool. Their evaluation will be undertaken by all ministries in cooperation with the ministry of finance.

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