Currency exchange shop, Egypt. (Reuters)
Egypt has collected LE267 billion ($34.1 billion) in tax revenues expected in the 2014/2015 fiscal year, the government announced Wednesday.
Revenues amounted to LE162 billion from income tax, which was set at as high as 30 percent on the largest taxpayers, while revenues from sales taxes amounted to LE105 billion, said the head of the Tax Authority, as reported by the state-run MENA news agency.
Last year the government introduced a temporary five percent income tax hike to raise the tax rate for individuals and corporations earning more than LE1 million annually to 30 percent for the following three years, in an effort to tackle the country's growing budget deficit.
It also passed several consecutive sales tax hikes on consumer goods, such as cigarettes and alcohol, in recent years.
An amendment to the taxes law lowering the income tax ceiling to 22.5 percent has been approved by the cabinet and has been submitted for final ratification by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, in the absence of a parliament.
Egypt has set a budget deficit target of 8.9 percent of GDP for the 2015/2016 fiscal year, which began 1 July, down from an estimated 10.8 percent in the previous year.
The amount of tax colllected represents 90 percent of the total tax revenues targeted in that fiscal year, tax authority head Abdel-Moneim Matar said in a statement.
Projected tax revenues amount to LE364.3 billion ($46.5 billion) in the final 2014/2015 budget as published on the Ministry of Finance website.
Ahram Online was unable to reach ministry of finance or tax authority officials for clarification on the benchmark used to determine the 90 percent collection-success rate announced by the Authority on Wednesday.
Most of the gap between the target and collected tax revenues is due to delayed payments by state bodies, said Matar in a statement.
Three government bodies, the Suez Canal Authority, the Central Bank of Egypt, and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) still owe LE35 billion in taxes for the last fiscal year, said Matar.
On Tuesday, Egypt's Tax Authority signed a cooperation agreement with the country's Real Estate Tax Authority to combat tax evasion by sharing data.