Egypt approves tax resolution law aimed at easing investment disputes

Tuesday 30-08-2016 08:10 PM

Egypt's parliament, the House of Representatives. ASWAT MASRIYA

By Reuters

CAIRO, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Egypt's parliament approved legislation on Tuesday to ease the process of settling tax disputes, a move aimed at luring back foreign investors who fled after the 2011 uprising.

More than 6,000 tax dispute cases worth about 47 billion Egyptian pounds ($5.29 billion) are in the court system, in addition to 150 civil disputes, the deputy finance minister said earlier this month.

The law looks to accelerate what is now an often lengthy tax dispute process, removing cases from court and allowing them to be settled by committees headed by experts who do not work for the tax authority.

The settlement process would start as soon as an investor submits a request to the tax authority, at which point court proceedings would be suspended for three months or longer if needed.

The tax resolution law will expire after one year, a copy of the legislation stated.

Its enactment came a day after the parliament passed a long-anticipated value-added tax, a key part of the government's plan to reform the economy and cut the deficit as it awaits IMF executive board approval of a $12 billion lending programme.

Egypt's economy has been hampered by an acute shortage of foreign currency since the 2011 revolt drove away both foreign tourists and investors.

The turmoil has seen foreign reserves more than halve from some $36 billion before the uprising to $15.536 billion in July. (Writing by Eric Knecht; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

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