By Menna Zaki
Minister of Finance Hany Kadry Dimian announced new legislative amendments Saturday to combat tax evasion, making the crime a felony rather than a misdemeanor.
Kadry had earlier held a meeting with the head of the Tax Authority Mostafa AbdelKader, legal adviser to the Minister of Finance Mostafa Hussien, and information technology adviser to the Minister of Finance Atef El-Fekky. The meeting was held to discuss workflow, performance of the Tax Authority and tax reports, which are slated to be submitted by the end of April.
Kadry stressed during the meeting the importance of the role played by tax officers in maintaining the rights of the community, which requires “full commitment to the law”. He added that there are factors that may hinder the process of tax collection relating to legislation and the inability of citizens to abide by it.
He noted that as a way to address this situation, the ministry will generate programmes and projects to improve the Tax Authority’s performance. The programmes include introducing an electronic system to facilitate the collection of information and data analysis in order to detect tax evasion more efficiently.
According to AbdelKader, the minister has undertaken “all the required measures” to enhance the performance of the Tax Authority under the supervision of El-Feky.
The finance minister will schedule meetings with several Tax Authority officials to discuss the effectiveness of tax collection in liberal professions, which may potentially reach EGP 7bn annually rather than the current EGP 333m.