Ministry of Finance updated its taxation regulations to keep pace with global digitalisation, said Ramadan Seddik, advisor to Finance Minister for taxation policies, at the event titled “The Ministry of Finance’s expected changes to tax laws and regulations” held by the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt (AmCham) on Monday.
“The taxation situation in the United Kingdom (UK) is changing totally. The authorities send companies a taxation proposal and wait for their approval as the authorities already have the companies’ data, while in Egypt and other developing countries, we wait for companies’ taxation filling and then verify it,” he added.
The ministry is working with concerned authorities to amend the Value-added Tax Law as some of its articles weren’t clear and needed to be changed, Seddik said.
The ministry is cooperating with the Egyptian Parliament to also review the Customs Law which was issued in 1963 and seems in bad need to be updated, Seddik stressed, adding, “about half of the law’s articles were discussed by the Parliament’s planning and budget committee, yet it hasn’t been discussed in a general session, so the door is still open for any suggestions.”
Hassan Hegazy, head of AmCham’s taxation and customs committee, said they are preparing a new research on the market needs to identify the required amendments to the Customs Law, adding that the research will be presented to the cabinet and the Ministry of Finance soon.
He asserted the importance of the training programmes as well as changing the mindset of the taxation employees who only focus on major companies, calling on the Egyptian Tax Authority to follow a more flexible policy in tax collection.
Hegazy praised the Ministry of Finance’s plan to include the formal and informal businesses in the taxation regulations, adding that “the most important thing is to give them their full rights, and impose limited taxes for specific years to encourage them to pay.”
AmCham kept calling on the government to give incentives for informal micro and small businesses to help them join the formal market, grow, and benefit the state, Hegazy mentioned.
“The Ministry of Finance needs to change the taxation philosophy in Egypt; from suspecting the company’s financial results to building trust with them,” Hegazy said.