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Sunday, 2 September 2018

Lawyers are fighting the tax man

Topping headlines on the airwaves were the agreements signed with China during President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s trip to Beijing (the details of which we cover extensively in Speed Round, below).

Lawyers are not happy about paying higher income tax: An increase in the income tax for lawyers imposed under amendments to the Income Tax Act in August have apparently sparked the ire of the with the Lawyer’s Syndicate. The backlash has apparently led the Finance Ministry to reduce the tax over the past few days, said Hona Al Asema’s Reham Ibrahim (yes, still no Lamees). Assistant Finance Minister Osama Tawakol said the tax is not new and dates back to 2005. The tax reduction followed meetings between the ministry and the head of the syndicate Sameh Ashour, he noted (watch, runtime: 7:34).

Now the lawyers are gunning for more: Naturally, this backpedaling by the Finance Ministry has emboldened the Syndicate to push for new reductions. Ashour called in to say that the VAT on lawyers “will also be addressed” at future meetings with the ministry (watch, runtime: 4:18).

Because lawyers perform such a valuable service to the nation that they should be tax-exempt, right? It’s almost enough to make us want to repeat our favourite lawyer joke (told to us by the lawyers in our family as well as by friends who toil at the bar).

The Egyptian Countryside Development Company will launch a tender on Monday for the development of 100k feddans in Minya as part of the 1.5 mn feddans project, CEO Ater Hanoura said. The winning bidders will pay EGP 1,000 per annum under a 25-year land rights agreement, with a 10% increase every 3 years, Hanoura told Hona Al Asema (watch, runtime: 9:41).

Other highlights on the airwaves: Hona Al Asema’s Reham Ibrahim hosted a debate on the Health Ministry’s efforts to reduce drug addiction by 50% by 2025 (watch, runtime: 28:35).

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