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Sunday, 25 October 2020

Investors to work with FinMin on real estate tax exemptions

Business leaders and lobby groups are now part of a joint committee with the Finance Ministry set up to address investor concerns, including the implementation of the Real Estate Tax Act, the ministry said in a statement on Friday. The committee — which brings together the Investors Union and Federation of Egyptian Industries — has been mandated with looking at businesses’ input on how the law applies to empty land plots and how to appraise land. This comes less than a month after the Trade Ministry said it was working on proposals that would exempt factories from real estate tax.

Industry has been calling for real estate tax relief since the beginning of the year when the Investors Union urged the government to abolish the tax for factories. This came a week after cabinet green-lit amendments — later signed into law in May — that exempt unused land from being taxed and give the cabinet the power to issue exemptions for some buildings.

Also from the meeting:

  • New rules on tax refunds, customs letters of guarantee: The Tax Authority will introduce a new mechanism to expedite tax refunds, while the Customs Authority will work to settle letters of guarantee amicably without resorting to the courts, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said, without providing details.
  • The ministry will start receiving exporters’ requests for lump sum payments of subsidy arrears starting next month, the minister said. The ministry last month announced that companies would be able to receive the arrears as a lump sum (rather than in payments stretching over 4-5 years) provided they agree to forgiving 15% of the debt.

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