The Planning and Budget Committee in the House of Representatives has formed a sub-committee in order to develop the tax system over the upcoming period in conjunction with a package of laws recently approved by the parliament.
A senior member in the committee, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that the committee includes about five members, with the most prominent two of them being Tlaat Khalil and Mervat El-Kassan, in addition to Essmat Zayed, Silvia Nabil, and Yasser Omar. There are plans to add Ashraf El-Araby, member of the economic committee, because of his tax experience and his management of the Egyptian Tax Authority (ETA) before 2011.
“The tax system requires development, whether in terms of legislations and purification of existing laws, or in terms of human cadres in the tax authority in order to increase tax revenue, whether through cutting expenses, fighting tax evasion, or expanding the tax community,” the committee member said.
He added that the sub-committee plans to hold meetings with officials in the Finance Ministry and the ETA, as well as the Egyptian Society of Accountants and Auditors in order to come up with a unified strategy to develop the tax system in Egypt and carry out modifications to the laws that regulate the authority.
The total number of cases of tax evasion during the first quarter of the fiscal year (FY) 2016/2017 reached 435, comprising a total value of EGP 700m. The number of cases that reached prosecution was 244, at a value of EGP 200m. Income tax evasion totalled EGP 60m during the same period.
Khalil, a member of parliament, said the committee has not held any meetings and will begin its work after looking into the financial reports of the past two fiscal years.
Khalil added that the ETA requires restructuring, particularly given the country’s current circumstances. There will be reconsideration of job titles and announcements of new jobs.
The MP said that the committee will look into the reason behind tensions within the tax errands due to the presence of the senior financers’ centre which is specialised in financers who represent 80% of total tax revenue.
MP Al-Araby said in an interview with Daily News Egypt that a delegation from the International Monetary Fund, which visited Egypt in July, has offered technical support to develop the Egyptian tax system.
Al-Araby added that developing the administrative body will increase the efficiency of the revenues, and increase the number of financers which will allow the unofficial economy to merge into the official economic system.