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Egypt: Why taxing YouTubers and bloggers has ‘created a fuss’

By Sherif Tarek
Posted on Wednesday, 13 October 2021 14:34

YouTube app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration on 13 July 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Content creators, among others, are on the tax authority's radar as Egypt looks to magnify its tax revenue.

 

The taxes that Egyptian bloggers and YouTubers have been told to pay lately are neither new nor as hefty as they may sound.

Nevertheless, some of these taxes have long been evaded by numerous professionals, which casts doubt on the willingness of new taxpayers to comply.

How come I pay taxes for something I shoot with my own camera that I bought with my own money and edit its final version on my laptop?

For many, the ‘new-old’ taxes have come with a great deal of perplexity, and also shed light on longstanding shortcomings in Egypt’s tax regime.

Everyone is targeted

The Egyptian Tax Authority (ETA) initiative pertains to pretty much everyone monetising their online activities in Egypt. The newly-established ETA unit, which has been monitoring e-commerce activities, reported that there has been a myriad of tax evaders.

People from the e-commerce community, which includes content creators – namely bloggers and YouTubers – did not welcome the decision.

“How come I pay taxes for something I shoot with my own camera that I bought with my own money and edit its final version on my laptop?” Belal Ezzat, a video blogger who has over 585,000 followers on Facebook, says in a post on the social media site.