Minister of Finance Amr El-Garhy announced the completion of network connection procedures at the Egyptian Tax Authority (ETA), which enables taxpayers to submit their tax declaration for the current season electronically via the website of the authority. This is an unprecedented facilitation for taxpayers, which saves a lot of time, according to El-Garhy.
He said that the electronic submission of tax declarations is optional, pointing out that this aims to facilitate an easier procedure for the tax community. Other facilitations include switching from paper tax forms to electronic ones and carrying out tax examinations electronically, all of which aims to improve Egypt’s ranking in international competitiveness, as well as improve the business climate.
In a related context, the minister of finance stressed that in order to further ease procedures for taxpayers, the cabinet approved referring legislative amendments on Tax Law 91 of 2005 to parliament. He pointed out that the amendments involve article 83, as taxpayers should submit the tax declaration in two stages. The first involves submitting a declaration showing basic data, on the legally required date, which is 31 March for individuals and 30 April for companies. The second stage involves submitting the tables and clarifications attached to the declaration at a maximum of two months from the date of submitting the basic report.
He added that the amendment also includes article 111 of the Income Tax Law, stipulating that priority should be given to the payment of taxes withheld from indebted persons and taxes due after administrative and judicial expenses, then least priority should be given to the fines imposed on taxpayers for delay.
Article 111 of the Income Tax Law currently stipulates arranging for paying the amounts due to the ETA in a way that makes paying fines for delays a priority over the tax itself, which increases the tax burden on taxpayers and discourages them from paying their due taxes.
He said that with the proposed amendment—to give the least priority to paying delay fines—amounts paid by taxpayers will be reduced, which encourages them to pay their taxes.