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Sunday, 22 January 2017

Stock market stamp tax could be reintroduced, gov’t looking to suspend capital gains tax

Egypt is considering temporarily reintroducing a stamp duty on stock market transactions after the tax was frozen in 2014, two finance ministry sources told Reuters on Thursday. Reuters’ sources spoke after the IMF loan documents to Egypt said some form of a capital gains or stamp duty will be implemented in FY2017-18. "We are studying temporarily re-imposing a stamp duty on stock market transactions pending the return to a capital gains tax, which has been postponed since May 2015," one of the sources told the newswire. "Now is the right time to impose a tax on the bourse, as it is in its best possible state. The tax rate will be much higher than it was previously, which was 1 pound per 1,000. We are now looking at the volumes and values of stock market transactions to make it fair," another Finance Ministry source said.

…The return to a capital gains tax is not a foregone conclusion, however: The Finance Ministry issued a statement saying it is working on getting the implementation of the capital gains tax delayed for three more years. Implementing the capital gains tax was put on hold for two years in May 2015. The ministry said it is still bound by the supreme investment council’s decision to suspend the implementation of the capital gains tax until 16 May, 2017, but that it is also looking on amending the provisions for the tax itself along with “other investment law incentives” to be included with the income tax law. The ministry said it is aiming to have the provisions passed on to parliament for approval before the expiration date in May and stressed that the IMF’s report is not at odds with the decision to delay the implementation of the tax. The EGX30 lost 3.74% on Thursday following the reports.

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