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Sunday, 7 March 2021

Of tax breaks and loopholes

The loophole that gave tax breaks to state institutions investing in government debt is now officially closed after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi ratified a bill that repealed an income tax exemption on income derived from treasury holdings, Al Mal reports.

Background: The bill, which was proposed by the Finance Ministry last year, covers specific state institutions as well as government-owned bodies, in addition to private ins. firms and some civil society groups.

The reworked Real Estate Registry Act won’t go into effect until 30 June 2023 — and a 2.5% tithe on real estate sales is no longer a prerequisite for utility access, according to a separate presidential decree, according to Masrawy. The tax was provided for by two new contentious clauses in the Income Tax Act that would have made access to utilities and infrastructure for new properties contingent on their being officially registered and the 2.5% tax on a real estate asset’s value at sale being paid up.

A refresher: The House of Representatives’ general assembly signed off last week on the suspension of amendments to the Real Estate Registry Act. The votes came one day after El Sisi issued the decree ordering a two-year freeze to allow time for public consultations on the legislation. The law was set to go into effect yesterday, mandating new procedures for property owners to register their properties. The Income Tax Act had separately stipulated in a years-old article that properties must be registered at the Real Estate Registry before getting access to basic utilities. The Madbouly Cabinet is now working on a draft bill that would set the new fees and procedures for real estate registry until the reworked Real Estate Registry Act is prepared.

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