Back to the complete issue
Sunday, 7 March 2021

El Sisi ratifies OECD dual taxation standards

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) convention on double taxation is now official in Egypt after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi ratified an agreement Egypt first signed in 2017 to modify its double taxation treaties with other countries. Tax officials will now begin revising over 30 bilateral agreements the country had signed in the past on double taxation. Egypt is now the 26th country to ratify the treaty, which has so far been signed (pdf) by a total of 95 nations.

The convention will allow us to grow tax revenue from e-commerce as it will redistribute taxes paid by tech companies such as Facebook and YouTube based on where the income is coming from, Ramy Mohamed, the finance minister’s advisor for international taxation, told Enterprise. As things stand, e-commerce companies with cross-border operations pay taxes only in countries where they’re registered, he said.

We’re not alone in looking for Big Tech to pay its fair share of taxes. France imposed a 3% levy on digital revenues, prompting a spat with the previous US administration and the Biden administration insists that this type of levy is unfair double taxation. Aid groups are pushing emerging economies to tax big tech and the debate has spilled over into the pages of the Financial Times and other bastions of the global business elite.

Speaking of e-commerce tax revenues: The draft E-Commerce Act is currently with the Madbouly Cabinet for review, and is expected to make its way to the House of Representatives soon. The proposed law would, if passed, provide a clear tax framework for online ads and the sale of goods and services and potentially net new taxes from the operations of tech giants including Google, Netflix, Amazon and Facebook here in Egypt.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID:  553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.