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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.

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