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Monday, 1 November 2021

Egypt is getting a digital VAT drawback system

Tourists shopping in Egypt will soon be able to claim VAT drawback via a digital system prior to departure, the Finance Ministry said in a statement yesterday.

Tourists will need to spend at least EGP 1.5k on an item to reclaim VAT; only visitors who stay in Egypt for less than three months can claim a drawback.

The system will be gradually rolled out across the country: The project will begin in Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada before the end of the year before being extended to Luxor and Aswan and then all of Egypt’s cities and ports, FinMin tax advisor Ramy Youssef said yesterday (watch, runtime: 4:33).

A local company will be established to run the new system alongside an unnamed international firm, according to the statement. Recently listed state e-payments firm e-Finance and its e-Tax subsidiary look set to be involved, with representatives from both firms joining the government committee tasked with managing the rollout.

The latest in a digital overhaul of taxation: The VAT drawback system joins the unified digital tax system and e-invoicing initiatives currently underway as Egypt looks to digitize its tax system.

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