Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait stated that the electronic invoice system is one of the most important and advanced global tax platforms that aim to limit the informal sector and integrate its activities within the formal economy. Egypt was one of the first countries to apply this system in the Middle East.
On Sunday, Maait stated: “We have a centralized digital platform at the Tax Authority to receive, review, approve and follow-up sales and purchase invoices for commercial transactions between companies and determine the true size of their business. This includes commercial dealings with entities that are not registered for taxation or do not recognize the true size of their business. This would result in tightening control over the circle of economic activity, as well as eliminate phantom companies, through the real-time exchange of billing data in digital format without relying on paper transactions, and thus achieving tax justice.”
He pointed out that the electronic invoice system eliminates arbitrary estimates, and shortens the tax examination to just several hours. Commenting on Egypt’s experience in the electronic invoice realm, he said that a gradual transition is key. “We started with 134 companies in the first phase of 2020, and now, in the eighth stage, 295,000 companies have joined this system, with an average of more than one and a quarter million documents per day,” he said.
Mokhtar Tawfik, head of the Egyptian Tax Authority, explained that by the end of next April, the deadline given to individual entities to join the electronic invoice system ends in the eighth and final stage of the system. Moreover, joint committees between the Tax Authority and the various target groups, including members of trade unions, were formed to study and overcome all the challenges facing the registration of the target segments in the electronic invoice system.
He pointed out that the Egyptian Tax Authority launched free technical support campaigns for taxpayers to register in the electronic invoice system by providing mobile cars that are available in all governorates within specific days to be announced through the authority’s official pages on social media.
He added that there are easy procedures for individual entities to join the electronic invoice system, represented in registering at the tax office free of charge. He also pointed out that the registration process through the tax office will be stopped as of 1 May 2023, as those who did not register within the specified time limit will be obligated to log in to the electronic link for registration on the Tax Authority website or the registration link.
He explained that in the case of dealing with companies, the buyer’s registration number is included, whatever the value of the invoice. In the case of dealing with people when the invoice exceeds EGP 50,000, the national number is used instead of the tax registration number. The buyers have seven days to review the invoice and approve or reject it, explaining the reason or their decision. The seller could then be notified of the buyer’s refusal, and is allowed to cancel the invoice within a period of seven days.
He said that taxpayers can obtain the necessary technical support to facilitate their access to the electronic invoice system through the system’s support centers at the Senior Financiers Center in the 10th District of Nasr City, the Public Treasury Department in Lazughli, the Inventory and Declarations Sector in Aga Khan, the Joint Stock Companies Mission, or the administrative headquarters of the Electronic Transactions Department in Salah Salem; or via email.