Egypt’s finance ministry has kicked off a comprehensive national project for the automation and digitization of tax administration and procedures, coming jointly with IBM, SAP, Ernst & Young (EY), among other local and foreign entities, Invest-Gate reports.

The step is aimed at integrating the informal sector in the national economy, hence combat tax evasion, consolidate and streamline the country’s electronic billing and tax payment platforms, in addition to stimulating investment. Apart from the former institutions, the new system is being rolled out together with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the Administrative Control Authority (ACA), and Egypt’s e-finance, according to a ministerial statement on November 4.

Moreover, it will contribute to maximizing public revenues, addressing the budget deficit, and reducing public debt. The platform is also part of the larger e-payments act, or the Unified Tax Law, which received the cabinet’s approval last June, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait explained during his meeting with tax leaders and representatives of the concerned bodies to discuss means of modernizing the current taxation system.

Once implemented, the new payment platform will provide tax IDs through which all companies and taxpayers can pay off their duties, Maait further stated, underlining that the ministry is keen on upholding the foreseeable reform agenda and making use of advanced technology and artificial intelligence.

Abdel Azim Hussein, head of the Egyptian Tax Authority (ETA), stressed that the new project will mechanize and digitize 16 basic tax operations, comprising a total of 50 sub-taxes. He highlighted that IBM will design the e-taxation integrated model in compliance with the highest professional standards, seeking to guide Egypt’s transition to a cashless economy.