Egypt’s House of Representatives’ Budget Committee approved a bill amending various existing laws to introduce new tax measures for a wide range of entertainment activities, including theaters, parties, cinemas, and nightclubs, as per a statement announced on Wednesday, 24 May.
A new five percent tax will be applied to music and dance parties at nightclubs, hotels, casinos, floating hotels, as well as symphonies or concerts at the Opera House.
On the other hand, a 10 percent tax will be placed on public parties in sporting and social clubs, and a 15 percent tax on international circus, skiing, and soaring balloon performances. In addition, a 20 percent tax will be levied on fish, animal, diving, and safari shows.
Duty-free purchases will now be subject to a three percent tax, while purchases of alcohol over 1 litre will be subject to a 10 percent fee.
Cost of luxury items will also rise, as luxurious imported goods will now be subjected to fees equal to 10 percent of their customs fees. This will impact blue cheese, electric shavers, caviar, chocolate, salmon, shrimp, and other types of seafood.
Egypt has been keen on increasing and diversifying its sources of revenue to reduce the impact of soaring inflation on low-income households.
In response to growing inflation and pressure on the Egyptian pound during the previous year, the Central Bank of Egypt increased interest rates by 800 basis points, while higher rates globally and a stronger US dollar have increased the country’s external borrowing costs.
Egypt’s annual inflation also skyrocketed this year, reaching a five and a half year-high at 31.9 percent.