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Sunday, 10 May 2020

Cabinet discusses measures to unblock EGP 65 bn assets frozen for back taxes

Low-cost stimulus: Cabinet discusses measures to unlock EGP 65 bn of assets frozen in tax disputes. Businesses may only have to pay a 1% downpayment to unfreeze assets frozen by the Tax Authority as part of unresolved tax disputes if the cabinet economic committee pushes ahead with a plan it discussed last week. The Finance Ministry last month halved to 5% the downpayment required to unlock assets as part of the tax dispute resolution bill ratified on 8 March.

This could see up to EGP 65 bn of frozen assets unlocked and is part of a larger tax settlement initiative that could cover up to 126k taxpayers in dispute with the Tax Authority, state news agency MENA reports, quoting an unnamed banking official. Taxpayers who are in dispute with the taxman will still have to work toward a settlement after making the downpayment and unfreezing their assets.

Other decisions by the economic committee: The committee approved new terms for commercial licenses to companies working with natural gas, especially in petrochemicals and fertilizers, as well as others operating in customs-exempt zones. The Natural Gas Regulatory Authority last March dropped by 22-30% fees for commercial gas transmission, shipping, distribution, and supply licenses.

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