Back to the complete issue
Sunday, 16 December 2018

Egypt considering legal framework to seize unpaid taxes

The taxman wants the power to freeze funds in the corporate and personal accounts of alleged tax cheats: The Finance Ministry is looking to discuss with the central bank legislation that would allow the government to freeze funds in the corporate and personal bank accounts of alleged tax cheats, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said yesterday, according to Al Mal and Masrawy. The measure would give the Tax Authority the power to freeze sums equivalent to those the authority believes the account holders owe the state treasury.

The questions here are many, ranging from the criteria you need to trigger before making the list of cheats to whether the freeze could be ordered without a court order and what, if any, appeal mechanism might be put in place.

Background: The ministry had previously been angling for direct access to corporate bank data through amendments to the Income Tax Act, now-former Tax Authority head Emad Samy had told us. The idea, which was meant to help clamp down on tax evasion, was nixed by the central bank on the basis that it would violate client data privacy provisions.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2021 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of Commercial International Bank (tax ID: 204-891-949), the largest private-sector bank in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; and Act Financial (tax ID: 493-924-612), the leading activist investor in Egypt; and Abu Auf (tax ID: 584-628-846), the leading health foodmaker in Egypt and the region.