Egypt mulls replacing sales tax with VAT

Ahram Online, Friday 23 Aug 2013

To increase Egypt state budget revenues, the government considers switching to a Value-Added Tax scheme

Ahmed Galal
Ahmed Galal (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egypt’s government mulls over switching to Value-Added Tax (VAT) as a backbone for financial discipline and social justice, the finance ministry said on Friday.

Finance Minister Ahmed Galal considers the VAT more efficient than the current sales taxes and says it one of the best indirect taxing systems on consumption, according to the statement.

Galal added that it would be one approach to raising the state’s tax revenues.

The idea will be discussed through an inclusive social dialogue, including commerce and industry federations, investors' associations and political parties, Galal confirmed.

The Egyptian minister has approved getting assistance from the International Monetary Fund’s experts to help the government through the transformation process.

The Egyptian government is expecting an additional LE322 billion (roughly $46 billion) in tax revenues, as part of the 2013/2014 budget, an Egyptian Tax Authority (ETA) official told Ahram Online earlier this month.

The revenue boost is a 50 percent rise from revenues in the 2012/13 fiscal year, the ETA official added. 

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