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Monday, 17 December 2018

FinMin to apply tax treatment of Egypt debt holdings to both bank, corporates

Corporates will see the tax treatment of their income from state debt change, too: Corporations will join banks in seeing changes to how their income from holdings of government is taxed, minister Mohamed Maait told Al Mal. Large wheat milling companies, real estate players — such as Emaar (who holds some EGP 8.8 bn in treasury bills), and other EGX listed companies typically invest government debt. But unlike banks, corporates could invest surplus liquidity through other modes, such as interest paying time deposits, he suggested.

What proposed changes? Proposed amendments to the Income Tax Act, which were approved in principle last month, could see some banks looking at a double-digit increase in effective tax rate. Banks would be required to split their books, separately accounting for income earned from holdings of government debt. The new, higher effective tax rate will be a result of the aforementioned split — which will widen the bank’s taxable income — despite no change in income tax rates. The amendments were sent last week to the central bank for review, and are expected to make their way to the House of Representatives soon for a final vote.

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