The Ministry of Finance has completed the executive regulations for the amendments to the new real estate tax law and forwarded to the regulations to the Fatwa and legislation sections of the State Council for review, according to Finance Minister Hany Kadry Dimian.
In a press release, Dimian said that the State Council’s review of the executive regulations will expedite the issuance of a ministerial decision establishing a legal basis for the executive instructions that have been recently issued in order to facilitate the receipt of grievances, appeals, and requests for proof of exemption for private housing.
The regulations also include property tax tables for additional units and private housing, for which the value exceeds the exemption limit of EGP 2m, in addition to administrative, commercial, and professional units, and Form 6, which specifically deals with tax exemption.
The minister pointed out that the Real Estate Taxation Authority (RTA) will issue clear instructions to deal with the issues that arose during the application of the new real estate tax law, such as housing owned by heirs who benefit from the exemption and units owned by parents and allocated to their children. Cases where individuals own real estate units that are not registered or the addresses of which are not listed on their national ID card will be solved through accepting electricity, water, or gas receipts as a means to prove that the unit should be considered family housing.
He also said that the standards of evaluation for non-residential real estate units are currently being agreed upon among Ministry of Finance officials and different sectors in the ministries of tourism, petroleum, mineral wealth, transport, civil aviation, and investment in preparation for the evaluation criteria to be issued for these facilities. Criteria for real estate assets utilised in the industrial sector have already been agreed upon.
The minister announced that several workshops have been held over four days at the headquarters of the Ministry of Finance, and were attended by around 1,500 heads of local tax offices, Tax Authority employees from across the nation, the RTA head, and ministerial assistants and advisors. The goal of the workshops was to discuss all issues that have emerged recently during the application of the new real estate tax law, the minister said, pointing out that a brochure will be prepared for each of these problems, solutions, and actions to be taken to solve them, while law enforcement mechanisms for all parts of Egypt will be unified.
Head of the RTA Samia Hussein said that local RTA offices are continuing to receive appeal requests, which are forwarded to the appeals committees for review, pointing out that the local offices also consider and solve grievances amicably as per instructions. Many grievances have already been resolved to date, she said.
Hussein explained that appeals are currently forwarded to the appeal committees, which are headed by a member of the judicial authority, and the law stipulates that a decision must be made within 30 days of the submission of the appeal.
She said that she issued instructions to the heads of tax areas to use the help of employees from other departments to meet the shortfall in staff in some local offices due to some of them reaching retirement age or others being promoted. She emphasised the need for all Tax Authority employees to make diligent efforts in calculating and collecting real estate taxes while facilitating the process for citizens.
She added that there are instructions from the finance minister to improve the work environment, especially in local offices located in dilapidated buildings. Dimian agreed to relocate the offices to alternative sites while preparing a plan to develop all local real estate tax offices across Egypt and meeting their financial and technical needs.