Egypt Independent

Mobile phone sales tax to rise 5%



The sales tax on mobile phone use is set to jump to 20 percent up from 15 percent, according to Turkish Anadolu news agency.

On Tuesday, Anadolu quoted Tax Authority Chairman Mamdouh Omar as saying the tax hike would not include jumps in the price for landline calls or internet services.

“The Shura Council is expected to pass the law in a few days,” he said.

The Egyptian government had announced a new tax amounting to 18 percent for mobile phone calls mid-December last year, but backtracked on the reform shortly after due to public outcry. Citizens balked at the price increases and even leaders from Morsy’s Freedom and Justice Party voiced their disapproval.

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Ashraf Arab had said in previous statements that the sales tax was initially set to be raised between 2 and 5 percent across 50 commodities. The tax hikes were later reduced to cigarettes, alcohol, cement, mobile phone use, steel and carbonated beverages.

Statistics from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology show telecommunications firms generated LE35 billion or three percent of GDP in 2012.

Mobile phone companies already charge a 15-percent sales tax to subscribers with post-paid plans and cover the cost for pre-paid clients.