Mixed Reaction Over Egypt’s Plan to Tax YouTubers and Bloggers

The Egyptian Tax Authority (ETA) has disclosed plans to tax Egyptian online content creators and this has generated mixed reactions from the general public. The tax authority asked YouTube users and bloggers to register and declare their annual income. The plan is targeted at those who earn more than 500,000 Egyptian pounds ($32,000; £23,000) annually.

According to Egypt Independent, the head of the Egyptian Tax Authority and Undersecretary of the Finance Ministry, Reda Abdel Qader called on online content creators to register with the authority.

Internet creators must go to the authority’s office where their activity is located to open a tax file to register with the competent income tax mission, he explained, as well as to register with the competent value-added tax mission when their revenues reach LE500,000 within 12 months from the start of their business.

In a statement on Saturday, Qader said that Finance Ministry is closely working with the Tax Authority to achieve tax justice by listing the tax community more accurately, especially the transactions that take place through electronic platforms, to include the informal economy in the official system and seize the rights of the state’s public treasury.

He noted the role played by e-commerce in the Tax Authority in the listing, following up, and registering companies that engage in trade activity through websites.

Qader added that e-commerce is an updated form of marketing and sales in new communication technology, and reliance on it has expanded in an unprecedented way globally due to the coronavirus pandemic.

YouTube is an online video sharing and social media platform owned by Google, which empowers content creators to earn money directly in various ways such as placed advertising, merchandise sales, and subscriptions. The monetization of a channel comes only after an application for membership in YouTube Partner Program (YPP) has been made, and such channels must meet eligibility thresholds regarding watch time and subscribers and must not run afoul of YouTube’s content, monetization, and copyright policies. 

More updates to come…

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