Egypt may cut taxes for stock market investors – official

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Egypt’s stock exchange and finance ministry are looking to combine stamp duty and capital gains taxes to limit the amount paid in stamp duties by equity investors, bourse chairman Mohamed Farid said on Tuesday.

The proposed changes could see the government refunding some stamp duty if the amount exceeded capital gains charges payable at the end of the year, Farid told Reuters.

“The amendments (to tax laws) could include … a combination of the stamp duty and capital gains taxes, with the capital gains tax acting as a ceiling for the stamp duty tax,” Farid said by telephone.

Under the proposal, the government would collect the stamp duty on all transactions then calculate the difference between it and the capital gains tax at the end of the year, Farid said. If the stamp duty was higher investors would receive a refund but if it was lower they would pay extra.

In June 2017, Egypt introduced a stamp duty of 1.25 Egyptian pounds ($0.0744) per 1,000 pounds then increased it to 1.50 pounds in 2018.

Earlier this month, the finance ministry cancelled a further increase to 1.75 pounds planned for this year, saying it would coordinate measures with stock exchange officials to help the market recover after big declines.

Farid, without elaborating, said the proposed changes may “see different tax treatment for investors based in Egypt than for non-resident investors”.

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