Going after the 1%? Egypt's cabinet approves 'exceptional' tax hike on the rich
Egypt’s cabinet has officially approved an income tax hike aimed at the country’s highest earning taxpayers, a finance ministry spokesman told Ahram Online on Wednesday.
The 5 percent tax rate increase is to be applied temporarily and, according to the latest draft, for a period of three years on individuals whose annual income exceeds LE1 million ($142,000)
Currently, those earning above LE250,000 ($35000) a year are taxed at a rate of 25 percent.
The exceptional measure is designed to answer calls for social justice raised during Egypt's 2011 revolution – which brought down the regime of long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak – as well as alleviate the financial imbalances exacerbated by three years of economic turmoil, Finance Minister Hany Kadry Demian told reporters last month.
The tax hike is expected to boost state revenues by between LE2 and LE3 billion a year, Demian told the cabinet of Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahleb on Wednesday, according to Al-Ahram's Arabic news website.
The bill is now awaiting final ratification by the president, in the absence of an elected legislature.
Egypt is currently trying to reduce a budget deficit which hit 14 percent in the 2012-2013 fiscal year, bringing it down to 11-12 percent by the end of the current fiscal year.
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