Egypt government has intensified its efforts to integrate the informal economic sector into the formal economy, in a way that contributes to increasing tax revenues, achieving tax justice in the local market, according to Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait.
Maait stressed the importance of tax digitization projects to raise the efficiency of tax collection, reduce tax evasion, and monitor the volume of commercial transactions among companies and between companies and consumers, through the “electronic invoice” and “electronic receipt” projects, then strengthen the governance of the system of state general revenue.
He added that the e-platform of unified tax procedures contributes to strengthening the governance of the tax system, through which the Tax Authority is electronically linked with 74 government agencies. This can enhance efforts to combat tax evasion and stimulate investment. He pointed out that the government continues to limit e-commerce outlets to monitor tax evaders, and take the necessary legal measures against them.
He explained that in September 2021, the unified electronic tax platform will be launched in 10 areas of Cairo, so that tax services can be available to taxpayers electronically using the unified tax registration number.
Reda Abdelkader, head of the Egyptian Tax Authority, indicated that any commercial activity is subject to taxes. That includes online activities, too. He pointed out that companies that sell goods or services online are required to register with the tax authority to avoid the crime of tax evasion. Moreover, companies that engage in e-commerce and have reached the registration limit of EGP 500,000 are obliged to register for the value-added tax. This also includes providers of professional services and other services subject to table tax, regardless of the volume of their sales.
He stressed that not submitting monthly returns is considered tax evasion, which is a crime. The penalty for this crime is imprisonment from three to five years. He noted that with regard to income tax, e-sellers may choose between applying Law 91 of 2005, submitting an annual return on the net profit, accompanied by paying tax dues, or enjoying the benefits of Law 152 of 2020 if they are an owner of medium, small and micro enterprises. They would be required to pay the final tax on annual transactions according to the business volume.