Egypt introduces development fees on mobile phone bills + scratch cards
Mobile phone bills + scratch cards are getting a little more expensive: The Finance Ministry has introduced development fees on prepaid mobile phone scratch cards and subscription plans, Youm7 reports. The tax on scratch cards will rise to EGP 0.67 from EGP 0.51 — a 31% increase — while the tax on bills for subscription plans will now become EGP 8, up from EGP 6 — a 33% increase. Subscription plans will also be subject to an additional EGP 0.10 fee once per year.
Confusion as operators mistake development fees for stamp tax: Some mobile networks sent out text messages to customers over the weekend incorrectly telling them that the increased fees were due to a stamp tax hike. But sources cited by Youm7 confirmed that there have been no increases to stamp tax and that the latest hikes are due to the introduction of development fees on mobile services.
Background: Amendments to the development fees bill which introduce new levies on a range of consumer goods, services and imported products were signed into law last month. The fees will be tacked onto items such as mobile phones, internet bills and pet food as the government looks to plug shortfalls in revenue caused by the coronavirus pandemic.