Egypt’s Ministry of Finance said on Sunday that it will not impose any tax on social media advertisements.
“There are developments happening to the taxation system to make it unified across the country, like post offices,” Salah Youssef, Deputy Minister of Finance in Egypt and Head of the research department of the Egyptian Tax Authority said.
Youssef made his remarks at a symposium held in the north African country to discuss the country’s new taxation law, and organised by the Egyptian Junior Business Association (EJB.
Social media in Egypt is a rather contentious topic. During the second quarter of 2018, a new social media law was approved and signed into law in Egypt. This law stated that social media accounts with more than 5,000 followers will be regulated and treated like media outlets. The reason by the government was that it needs to punish those who create and distribute fake news, however, the law has to date been used to silence and ban legitimate news outlets and others that criticize Egypt’s government.
Given that, it is interesting and quite clear that authorities in Egypt are more concerned about social media censorship than applying laws fairly across all industries as they have said they will not introduce a tax on social media Ads.
Youssef also explained that Egypt’s new unified tax law would merge the collection of income tax with VAT electronically so as to save time. This new electronic process will apparently take only 60 minutes.