The State Council finished reviewing the draft law of value-added tax (VAT). The law was sent to the government, in preparation for submitting it to parliament for discussion and approval within days, Minister of Finance Amr El-Garhy said on Monday.
The cabinet approved the bill in mid-May and sent it to the State Council for review.
Speaker of the House Ali Abdul Aal said on Saturday that the cabinet requested the withdrawal of the VAT draft law from the parliament for further amendments by the cabinet before its final approval.
“The next period will witness meetings with MPs, business organisations, and the tax community to respond to queries and explain the law,” El-Garhy said.
He noted that the new tax aims at broadening the tax base by including services under the tax system as well as preventing tax evasion and controlling the market by handing over invoices.
According to a press release issued by the Minister of Finance on Saturday, the parliament’s discussion of the law will be the final step before approval.
The government aims to implement an integrated and simplified tax system for micro and small businesses without burdening their owners with additional taxes, according to the minister.
He added that the Finance Ministry is working to complete the system to become a facilitated mechanism in order to encourage enterprises to adhere to tax payments through simple procedures, both in registration and tax statements.
The government said in the draft budget for 2016/2017 that the VAT law will include a unified tax rate for all goods and services, but will also include many exemptions for basic products of social importance.
The Ministry of Finance, according to its minister, is struggling to raise the efficiency of tax administration and improve the quality of services provided, as well as building a true partnership between the tax administration and the business community.
Moreover, the minister said he aims to implement a stable tax policy and take interest in drawing clear and simple bylaws, regulations, and instructions to avoid tax disputes.
Former finance minister Hany Kadry Demian had earlier said that imposing VAT will cause an inflationary impact between 2-3.5%, especially as the transformation to a VAT system will include many goods and services under its umbrella.