Egypt’s parliament is evaluating an option to tax people and organizations that advertize on platforms like Facebook and Google. This, according to some of Egypt’s parliamentarians, will help the country "protect the Egyptian advertising market."
Egypt is about to reach a strategy allowing the government to implement advertisement taxes on social media websites, especially Facebook and Google. According to Parliament statements, imposing these taxes on the advertising companies will protect the Egyptian advertising market, and adjust its mechanisms.
However, it is not fully clear yet how the Egyptian state is going to collect money from advertisers, as some of the companies, which use Facebook and Google to target the Egyptian users, don’t have regional offices inside the country. One of the parliamentarians suggested that implementing these ad taxes on Facebook and Google is an option, but other options and possibilities are still on the table for further discussions.
The tax is one of several measures that Egypt's parliament is considering.
“These taxes will be the first step to confront social media advertisements. Other countries developed strategies to control this kind of ads. We can do it in our country as well,” said John Talaat, Deputy Head of the Communications and Information Technology Committee and a member of Egypt's parliament.
Talaat further added that implementing thi advertizing tax will most likely have a positive impact on the amount of tax revenue Egypt collects. This in turn increases the possible funds available for Egypt's government to deliver public services for citizens.
Interestingly, Talaat is of the opinion that the proposed new tax should only be imposed on big corporations adverting on Facebook and Google and not on individuals.
“It can turn into an online information war if we do not apply an adjusting mechanism,” Abdel Kader Tamer, Deputy of the Parliament's Culture and Media Committee.
It's interesting to note that, unlike the recent Uganda social media tax, Egypt's tax targets advertizers on social media platforms and not the users. However, just like the Uganda tax, it will be interesting to observe how Egypt's parliament will monitor and enforce the tax.