CAIRO: The Foreign Ministry is not imposing new taxes on Egyptian expatriates, said Assistant Foreign Minister for Consular Affairs Ali Al-Ashry during a television interview with ONtv on Sunday.
Newspapers have been reporting that the government intends to impose new taxes on Egyptian expatriates, news of which has been followed by widespread criticism.
The General Union of Egyptians Abroad sent two letters to the interim president and the prime minister calling for them to find a legal formula to impose new taxes on Egyptian expatriates, to contribute between $4 billion and $7 billion annually to the state fund.
Egyptian expatriates are already paying income taxes to the countries that they are from, and the decision to add taxes from Egypt is unfair, said the head of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights Hafez Abou Seda on his Twitter account March 8.
Abou Seda said that at least 40 percent of expatriate income would go to Egypt taxes if new taxes were imposed.
Al-Ashry said he read about the tax debate in newspapers, adding that the foreign ministry has been discussing for years the idea of creating an authority to aid Egyptian expatriates in times of crisis. It is holding daily meetings with ministry representatives about that issue, he said.
Remittances from around eight million Egyptian expatriates reached record heights in the fiscal year 2012-2013, $18.7 billion, compared to $18 billion in the fiscal year 2011-2012, according to the Central Bank of Egypt, the Al-Ahram state newspaper reported.
Additional reporting by Rofayda Awadeen and Hagar Housam.