Egypt’s Ministry of Finance issued a plan on 26 March 2020 to introduce mandatory e-invoicing in Egypt, as defined in Resolution No. 188 of 2020. The first article of the Resolution stipulates that Egyptian VAT-registered businesses are required to issue electronic tax invoices that include the electronic signature of its issuer and the standard code for the good or service subject to the invoice approved by the Egyptian Tax Authority.

The second article of the decision states that “The technical controls and conditions to be adhered to and the stages of implementing the electronic bill system are determined by a decision from the head of the Egyptian Tax Authority.”

Why mandate e-invoicing in Egypt?

It has already been approved for businesses to interact electronically. As is indicated by article 13 of the VAT’s executive regulations, the registered persons are required to issue a paper-based or electronic tax invoice upon the sale of a taxable commodity or provision of a taxable service, which should include the required data such as serial number, its date of issuance, and a description of the commodity/service.

The fundamental idea behind this new mandate is to gain more control by boosting VAT proceeds and increasing the number of registered taxpayers in Egypt. This was emphasised in statement in the preparation of the draft law on e-invoicing:

“The electronic inspection of invoices is one important factor in boosting tax proceeds and increasing registered taxpayers. The inspections system helps detect taxpayers who submit non-compliant zero-rate tax declarations despite their commercial transactions. It can also detect non-VAT-registered taxpayers whose annual purchases exceeded the VAT registration threshold. Moreover, true sales figures of taxpayers’ invoices can be verified through matching them as per their declarations with purchases of others, and by matching them with customs information. The system can also identify defaulters who don’t comply with the legal date of submitting tax declarations, sales and purchases history of fake companies, and those who submit credited and debited tax files.”

Known details of the mandate

Who

All VAT-registered businesses operating in Egypt that make sales of taxable commodities or provide taxable services.

When

The resolution instigating an obligation to start submitting e-invoice shall be published in the Egyptian Official Gazette and will be enforced from the day following its publication.

How

The fine details of the requirements are still to be finalised.

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