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Sunday, 8 September 2019

Egyptian SMEs Act to include tax and non-tax incentives, says FinMin

LEGISLATION WATCH- The SMEs Act will include tax and non-tax incentives to support the sector and encourage small businesses to go legit, the Finance Ministry said in a statement (pdf). If passed, the incentives would include exemptions from the stamp tax as well as the fees to register contracts to set up companies and credit facilities for five years from the commercial registration date. SMEs would also be exempt from land registration fees for their projects, among other things. The draft law is expected to be discussed by the House of Representatives when it reconvenes after its summer recess. The SME tax incentives package could cost the government EGP 1.5-2 bn each year.

Could these proposals by the business community make it to the drawing board? Suggestions calling for stronger incentives for SMEs to join the formal economy and developing a “unified definition of SMEs” were presented in a meeting on Thursday between SMEs Authority head Nevine Gamea and the Egyptian Businessmen Association’s SMEs committee, EBA board member and committee head Hassan El Shafei said, according to the newspaper. Other ideas the business community has in mind for an improved SMEs sector include setting up a company to drum up interest for SME support products, prioritizing tech-intensive and manufacturing projects, and reducing red tape.

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