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Thursday, 18 October 2018

Will the FEI attempt to dissuade the FinMin from raising taxes on entertainment venues?

** #8 LEGISLATION WATCH- FEI aiming to convince FinMin not to raise taxes on entertainment venues? Members of the Federation of Egyptian Industries’ (FEI) cinema production division are expecting to meet Finance Ministry officials in the coming days to discuss their reasons for rejecting proposed legislative amendments that would hike cinema ticket prices, the division’s deputy head Safwat Ghattas said yesterday. Higher ticket prices would have a sharply negative impact on the film industry, which is already struggling, Ghattas said, adding that he is hoping the two sides can come to a “middle-ground solution” during their meeting.

Background: Sources had told us earlier this month that the government was considering reviving legislative changes from 2016 that would raise taxes on tickets for Arabic-language films to 15% from a current 5%, and on foreign-language films to 30% from a current 20%. The changes would also impact other entertainment venues, including theaters and nightclubs. A domestic newspaper subsequently claimed that the government was not planning on raising the tax on entertainment venues, but officials have made it clear that higher tax receipts were key to taking some of the pressure off the state budget, which is under pressure from high oil prices and high interest rates.

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