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Thursday, 24 December 2020

Tourism companies, airlines, hotels get another tax + debt breather

SMART POLICY- Airlines, hotels, and other tourism establishments are getting another breather on debt, taxes, and utility payments after the Madbouly Cabinet approved yesterday extending a payment holiday introduced in April. According to the decision, these businesses will be entirely exempt from paying real estate taxes for the period between 1 January 2021 and 30 April 2021. The government will also allow these businesses to restructure utility debts (including water, gas, electricity, and docking fees for boat hotels) over a 36-month period. The debt, tax, and utilities payment holiday was originally set to expire in October before being extended until the end of 2020 as the pandemic continued to batter the tourism industry.

Hotels will also have until 31 December, 2021 to turn around their business before being put into administration, the statement said without providing further details.

All Egyptian companies will soon pay equal fees when applying for licenses to work on projects abroad, according to legislative amendments approved yesterday in cabinet’s weekly meeting. Authorities had previously collected lower fees from companies registered as contractors and looking to authenticate their prior experience and financial standing. Now, companies and contractors alike will pay a fee equivalent to 0.5% of annual revenues, which will be capped at EGP 100k, cabinet said.

Also approved during the weekly cabinet meeting:

  • A request from the General Authority for Investment to postpone a planned 15% increase in usufruct fees paid by investors in freezones;
  • Permission to display Egyptian antiquities in expos in the US, London and Paris between November 2021 and January 2025; and
  • Presidential pardons for several convicted individuals set to take effect on 25 January, on occasion of the January Revolution and Police Day.

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