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Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Egypt could combine stamp duty, capital gains taxes on EGX investments

Egypt could combine stamp duty and capital gains taxes on stock market investments to reduce the financial burden on investors, EGX boss Mohamed Farid told Reuters. Proposed amendments could have the government refund a portion of the stamp duty if its value exceeded capital gains that are paid towards the end of the year, Farid said. “The amendments (to tax laws) could include … a combination of the stamp duty and capital gains taxes, with the capital gains tax acting as a ceiling for the stamp duty tax,” Farid told the newswire.

What’s going on? The Finance Ministry and EGX are working on potential scenarios for the implementation of a capital gains tax on stock market transactions when the levy comes back into effect next year, Farid told us earlier this week.

CLARIFICATION- The amendments could also mean the tax would be calculated differently for resident and non-resident investors, Farid had told us. We incorrectly said in yesterday’s issue that the proposal was to create a different calculation for local and foreign investors.

Background: After a revolt by retail investors, officials shelved in 2017 for a three-year period a tax on capital gains made on the EGX — and replaced the measure with a provisional stamp tax. The full introduction of the tax was a recommendation of the IMF, and reports in the local press citing unnamed government sources had suggested earlier this month that the government would not be bringing back the tax “anytime soon” despite deciding to keep the stamp tax on EGX trades unchanged at 0.150%.

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