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Thursday, 15 December 2022

FinMin mulls wage tax hike

Salaries above EGP 800k could be subject to a new top tax rate: The Finance Ministry is proposing amendments to the Income Tax Act that would enforce a new 27.5% wage tax rate on salaries of more than EGP 800k a year, a source with knowledge of the matter told Enterprise. The amendments have been sent to the House of Representatives for discussion, our source said. Annual earnings over EGP 400k are currently taxed at a top rate of 25%.

A higher top rate would help the government fund proposed tax cuts that would benefit lower income earners, our source told us. The Finance Ministry earlier this year drafted amendments that would raise the income tax exemption threshold for all earners to EGP 15k from EGP 9k.

Raising the ceiling for income exempt from wage tax to EGP 15k from EGP 9k will impact some 22.5 mn taxpayers, our source told us.

OUR TAKE- New taxes in the current climate make it more expensive for businesses to give raises and invest in the very growth that creates new jobs — particularly at companies that do not employ large numbers of blue collar workers. The folks at the Tax Authority have a tough job — we don’t envy them. But amid spiraling inflation, high interest rates, and the prospect of further weakness in the EGP, today simply isn’t the day to make it more expensive to employ the nation’s best and brightest.

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