Etisalat Egypt pays LE200 million in back taxes

Ahram Online, Thursday 4 Aug 2011

Mobile provider reconciles with the tax authority and eyes higher subscription as it benefits from a boycott aimed at the owner of its competitor Mobinil

Etisalat Egypt announced on Wednesday it had reconciled with the Egyptian Tax Authority after paying back-taxes amounting to LE200 million.

The sum was part of a loan which the mobile services provider did not repay on time. 
"The loan was not tax-exempt and therefore Etisalat had to pay additions [to] reconcile with the tax authority,” said a Ministry of Finance official. 
Loan exemptions apply on loans whose tenor are three years or more, which was not the case with the Etisalat loan, he added. 
The biggest tax payer in Egypt was Telecom Egypt, which paid LE600 million in the 2010/11 financial year.
Vodafone Egypt is yet to present its tax reports to the Egyptian Tax Authority, despite a July deadline. 
Investment bank Beltone Financial says Etisalat has seen a steady flow of new subscribers as users switch from Mobinil, Egypt's largest mobile firm by subscription, following a boycott campaign aimed at the latter's owner, Naguib Sawaris.
Sawaris sparked anger among Islamist groups in late June when he tweeted a cartoon image of Mickey and Minnie Mouse dressed in Salafist garb.
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