No tax hikes or new burdens, societal dialogue is essential: Minister of Finance

Daily News Egypt
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The Minister of Finance, Mohamed Maait, announced that the state’s public finances are resilient and stable, despite the global economic challenges and geopolitical tensions that have affected the Egyptian economy. He said that the government has achieved an initial surplus of EGP 173bn in the past 7 months, reduced the debt-to-GDP ratio, and lowered the budget deficit to 5.8%.

Maait also said that the international markets have shown confidence in the Egyptian economy, as evidenced by the 50% decrease in the required return and the cost of insurance on Egyptian bonds. He added that the state’s public finances will undergo structural reform to adopt the general government budget, which includes the revenues and expenditures of the state’s general budget and the 59 economic entities. He said that this would limit the tax revenues to 35% of the total government revenues of EGP 5trn.

Maait stressed that there will be no increase in tax rates or new burdens in the tax policy strategy for 2024/2030. He said that the tax brackets, the corporate and industrial profit tax, and the income tax rate will remain unchanged. He explained that the tax exemption threshold will be raised by 33% starting from March 1st, which will result in a 73% increase from July 2023 to March 2024.

Maait also said that tax performance is improving through the use of modern technology to speed up and ensure the accuracy of the annual periodic audit processes while reducing human intervention. He highlighted the government’s success in implementing the electronic invoice system, the electronic receipt system, and the electronic declaration system. He said that these initiatives enhance tax governance, integrate part of the informal economy, and increase tax revenues by 42% to 44%.

Maait confirmed that the government is working to provide a sustainable mechanism for resolving tax disputes outside the courts. He said that by June of this year, tax disputes will be resolved through the simplified lump-sum tax system, as stipulated in the law for small and medium-sized enterprises, for any establishments or companies whose business volume does not exceed EGP 10m.

Maait made these statements during his participation in the annual tax conference of Price Waterhouse Cooper. The conference was attended by Ambassador Soha Gendi, Minister of State for Immigration and Affairs of Egyptians Abroad, as well as several bank presidents, MPs, and other public figures.

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