Social media content creators will be taxed in Egypt as more and more citizens start using online platforms to support themselves.
The IRS said “YouTubers and bloggers” earning more than £ 500,000 ($ 32,000) annually would be taxed, in a statement issued.
Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country with over 100 million people, has reached an internet penetration rate of 60%, according to official figures.
Social media was overflowing with comments after taxation.
“Poor vegetable sellers are taxed, so we can also tax the rich,” an Egyptian wrote on Twitter.
But another said the latest decision would drive content creators out of the country.
“If the government wants to tax YouTubers, it must at least give us better internet and scrap the entire limited gigabyte package,” a Twitter user said.
Mohamed al-Gayyar, a senior tax official, tried to quell the reaction on Sunday.
“Everyone who makes a profit in Egypt must be taxed fairly, regardless of their field of work,” he said on public television.
But that did not stop celebrity TV host Amr Adib from questioning the revenue.
“How many bloggers are there really?” asked the popular singer and actor.
“The finance minister knows very well that there are millions of people who do not pay their fair share of the tax. They avoid them,” he said.
Since 2018, authorities have placed social media users with more than 5,000 followers under supervision. They can be prosecuted for posting “fake news”.