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Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Egypt’s Cabinet approves income tax breaks, other decisions in weekly meeting

CABINET WATCH- Cabinet approves income tax breaks: The Madbouly cabinet greenlit in its weekly meeting on Thursday proposed amendments to the Income Tax Act that would, if approved by the House of Representatives, exempt employees making less than EGP 22k a year from paying income tax. Besides raising the tax exemption, the amendments would introduce new income tax brackets, raising the number of bands to seven from five, and lower rates for several existing bands. We had a full rundown last month on the proposed changes, which were proposed by the Finance Ministry.

The House Planning and Budgeting Committee wants to push the threshold up to EGP 9k from the EGP 7k proposed by the ministry, according to the local press. Finance Minister Mohamed Maait should decide today on whether or not the move is feasible, allowing the committee to move to a final vote today before referring the amendments to the general assembly, Committee Chairman Hussein Eissa told Al Mal. The new threshold and brackets are set to come into effect at the start of the fiscal year in July.

Ministers also decided on Thursday to:

  • Allocate EGP 10 bn from the EGP 100 bn covid-19 stimulus package to purchase non-financial assets as a boost to government spending;
  • Approve a draft law to set up a fund to support tourism headed by the tourism and antiquities minister; and
  • Ratify an agreement between Egypt and Belarus to facilitate trade as part of 12 MoUs signed during Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s two-day visit to Cairo in February.

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