An advertising campaign for Egypt’s Real Estate Taxation Authority (RTA) has drawn the people's attention calling on citizens to start paying taxes before mid-August.
Although the current law has been in force for nearly a decade now, but it has undergone many amendments that have hindered its work, which means this would be a new experience for many Egyptians.
"I think many citizens will respond to the advertising campaign," said Ashraf al-Arabi, former head of the RTA and current MP.
According to the law issued in 2008, the rental value of the properties is estimated once every five years. The annual tax value, which is calculated at 10 percent of the rental value of the property, is determined based on this procedure, excluding maintenance expenses.
The law has raised controversy among citizens in light of the fact that real estate represents a refuge for the Egyptian families’ investments and it has overcome several amendments. The most recent of these amendments was the 2014 taxable benefit according to the first estimate as of July 2013, provided that this assessment continues until the end of December 2018.
Head of the RTA Samia Hussein said in a statement that property owners who are entitled to tax will be subject to penalties for delay if they don’t inform the RTA of their properties before August 15.
Real estates that are prepared to be leased in summer are one of the most important havens for Egyptian families who invest in their properties during this period of the year. Therefore, the RTA tried to attract this category by announcing the possibility of paying the tax on the northern coast units and remote areas at the Authority’s headquarters in Cairo instead of doing so in a coastal governorate.
According to date by the country’s Ministry of Planning, real estate activities accounted for about 10.5 percent of the country's GDP in the fiscal year 2016-2017.
However, not all real estates in Egypt are taxable. The law exempts private housing units with an annual rental value of more than EGP 24,000 per year (about $1,300), commercial and industrial units with an annual rental value of more than EGP12,000 and other facilities such as educational institutions and non-profit hospitals