Highlighting the importance of the tax digitisation process in Egypt, finance minister Mohamed Maait announced that the country is all set to launch a unified platform for electronic tax collection this month which is designed to collect and document taxes from all the entities online.
Maait told the media, “The state is stepping up its efforts to merge the informal and formal economies for the sake of achieving tax justice and levelling the playing field among taxpayers in the local market, as well as increasing the state’s public treasury revenues.” The latest unified tax system will be launched in 10 areas within Cairo, and it will enable taxpayers to use e-tax services using a unified tax registration number.
The unified platform will cover all kinds of taxes including income taxes, freelance taxes, deductions and collection returns, value-added taxes (VAT), and stamp taxes. All the transactions will be paid electronically using non-cash payment methods.
Maait also highlighted how important state projects are and the need to digitise them. Once implemented, it will improve tax collection efficiency, curb tax evasion, and track commercial transactions between companies and consumers. It will contribute to further strengthening the governance of the tax system, in which the tax authority is electronically linked with 74 government agencies. This will help fight tax evasion and bring forward investment.
The government will also impose new restrictions on e-commerce outlets to monitor tax evaders, and take the necessary legal measures against them. Commercial activities, online and offline, are subject to taxes and the online goods and services companies are required to register with the tax authority. Not submitting monthly returns is considered tax evasion with a punishment of 3-5 years in prison.