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From 1954 to Today: Evolution of Property Tax in Egypt

The recent updates to the property tax law have sparked discussions among property owners, tax professionals, and legal experts alike. This article aims to demystify the property tax regulations, highlighting the continuity from the 1954 law, changes introduced, exemptions, and the implications for property owners and tenants.

Key Changes in the Property Law

A pivotal aspect of this legislation is its adherence to the rental value basis for tax assessment, maintaining a minimum tax rate of 10%. This approach ensures a degree of stability and predictability for property owners. Moreover, the law introduces a crucial relationship-building measure by exempting unregistered taxpayers from back taxes, provided they submit property declarations within a year of the law’s enactment.

Background and Continuity

The property tax law does not introduce a novel tax but rather builds upon the existing framework established by Law No. 56 of 1954. Known colloquially as “Al-Awaid” this tax has been a longstanding obligation for property owners, levied on the rental value of built properties. The tax rate is unified at 10% of the annual rental value after deducting 30% for residential expenses and 32% for non-residential expenses in exchange for all expenses incurred by the taxpayer, including maintenance expenses.

Taxpayer Obligations and Exemptions

The responsibility for paying the property tax falls on the property owner or the holder of a usufruct or exploitation right, regardless of the individual’s or entity’s nature. Notably, tenants are not obligated to pay the property tax directly but may do so under specific conditions, ensuring their contributions are acknowledged within their rent payments.

The law applies to all built properties across Egypt, with few exceptions. Exempted entities include state-owned properties used for public benefit, religious buildings, and properties expropriated for public use. Additionally, specific exemptions are granted to encourage compliance and ease the tax burden on certain property owners.

Assessment and Taxation Process

The valuation of rental values is conducted by designated committees, considering a myriad of objective factors such as location, construction materials, and property age. The tax is set at 10% of the net annual rent, with deductions allowed for maintenance costs, ensuring fairness in the tax burden.

Transparency and Dispute Resolution

To foster transparency, the law mandates public announcements of rental value assessments and provides mechanisms for taxpayers to challenge these valuations. Committees formed for this purpose include members from various backgrounds, ensuring a balanced and fair review process.

Penalties and Compliance

The law specifies penalties for tax evasion, including fines and compensation equal to the unpaid tax amount. It also outlines consequences for late payments, emphasizing the government’s commitment to enforcing compliance while offering mechanisms for reconciliation in certain cases.

Latest incentives in implementing the law

In this regard, it is worth noting that there are protocols between the Ministry of Finance and other ministries to organize accounting for real estate tax in establishments subject to the decisions of those ministries, such as the activity of tourism establishments, petroleum, and some industrial activities.

It should also be noted that a decision was issued by the Ministry of Finance regarding the state bearing the real estate tax on behalf of some activities beginning in January of the year 2022 and for the following three years, such as mining activities, manufacturing industries, the automobile industry, etc.


The property tax law represents a blend of continuity with past regulations and adjustments to modernize and streamline the tax assessment and collection process. By maintaining the rental value as the tax base and introducing measures to encourage compliance and transparency, the law aims to balance the needs of the state with the interests of property owners. Property owners and tenants alike must familiarize themselves with these changes to ensure compliance and make informed decisions regarding their property-related finances.

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Written By

Mohamed Abo Zaid - Senior Tax

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