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Egypt tax revenues reach LE145 bn in April

Finance Ministry official predicts total tax revenues to grow by over 20 percent in current fiscal year

Ahram Online, Friday 19 Apr 2013
Egypt
Workers stand in a factory belonging to Ezz Steel, Egypt's largest steel producer, at an industrial complex in Sadat City, 94 km (58 miles) north of Cairo, April 17, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's annual income and sales tax revenues reached LE145 billion in mid April 2013, a growth of 20 percent over the same period a year earlier, the ministry of finance said in a statement Friday.

Two thousand companies and individuals contributed some LE100 billion in income taxes so far, a 15 percent increase over last year.

Egypt is forecasting total income and sales tax revenues to reach some LE222 billion in the current fiscal year which ends on 30 June 2013, according to the modified 2012/13 state budget published on the ministry's official website.

The head of ministry's large tax payers unit, Osama Tawakol, predicted total tax revenues to grow by over 20 percent in the current fiscal year, despite the "drop in economic activity."

Recently, the International Monetary Fund cut its 2013 growth forecast for the Egyptian economy to 2 percent in its April 2013 World Economic Outlook report, down from the 3 percent initially predicted last October.

"A growth rate of 2 percent effectively means zero growth in terms of GDP per capita [due to population growth], which means the Egyptian economy is in a state of stagnation," Hany Genena, chief economist at the Cairo-based Pharos Holding, had told Ahram Online.

On 14 April, Egypt’s Upper House of Parliament approved amendments to the income tax law, including taxing individuals whose annual income exceeds LE5 million at a rate of 30 percent, and raising the tax exemption limit to LE12,000 in annual income rather than the previous LE9,000.

The House also approved an increase in stamp duties levied on advertisements from 15 to 20 percent.

ِEgypt has seen several attempts at tax reform since it started negotiating a $4.8 billion loan with the International Monetary Fund, which requires the country implement measures to increase state revenue and cut state spending.

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