Egypt’s Minister of Finance Mohamed Moeit announced that his ministry is drafting a new law to impose taxes on social media advertisements and other services offered through online platforms.
This came during the minister’s meeting with representatives of social media giant Facebook on Tuesday.
Moeit said that after completing the drafting of the law, the ministry will present it to all concerned bodies and Facebook to provide their feedback.
The minister said the law is important to keep up with global economic changes and digital transformation, in addition to ensuring continuous growth and to be in line with international standards in this regard, as well as, integrating the parallel economy with the formal economy without harming the interests of entrepreneurs, and aims to achieve equal competitiveness in the market which should have a positive impact on the national economy.
While, the representatives from Facebook welcomed the open dialogue with Egypt, saying they will cooperate with the finance ministry to provide the company’s expertise in this regard.
In a Tuesday press statement, Ahmed Badawi, a member of parliamentary committee of telecommunications, said that the committee has demanded the government to submit the e-commerce draft law before the end of the current legislative term, pointing out that the draft law will be completed in November.
There are around 2,500 pages have been spotted promoting anonymous medicines, therefore protecting citizens’ data is important, Badawi added, citing that telecommunication companies are neither entitled nor allowed to make citizens’ data available to anyone, pointing out that this infringes on the privacy of citizens.
The e-commerce will control the advertising process on Facebook, and ensures the of the right of the state in taxes, he also said.
Badawi pointed out that there is a rise in the rate of cybercrime, saying that there are more than 10 million fake accounts on Facebook, and that the penalty of creating fake accounts can reach a fine of EGP 50,000 to 100,000 and imprisonment from one to three years, adding that the General Directorate of Information Technology can within 24 hours identify the owner of a fake account.
Moreover, Badrawi asserted the importance of advertising conducted through social networking site Facebook, noting that “the volume of e-commerce is increasing day by day without any financial obligations, which makes it imperative for the government to take a step to benefit and receive taxes from e-commerce via Facebook.”