Morocco's fixed telecom tax highest in Arab world

Fixed-line users in 10 Arab countries pay sales tax, according to survey
The survey focused on sales taxes on fixed-line services.
The survey focused on sales taxes on fixed-line services.

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Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia have the highest sales tax rate on fixed voice services in the Arab region, according to a new study by Jordan-based research firm, Arab Advisors Group.

The report analysed the fixed voice tariffs for 29 fixed voice operators in 19 Arab countries, out of which 10 countries were found to impose sales taxes on fixed voice services.

Morocco had the highest sales tax rate on fixed voice services in the region followed by Mauritania and Tunisia.

The analysis of the fixed voice rates in the Arab World revealed that the postpaid on-net average minute rates in Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, Oman, Tunisia and Jordan are above the regional average minute rate.

For prepaid on-net average peak minute rates, Mauritania and Morocco have rates that are above the regional average peak minute rate. Sudan has the lowest prepaid on-net average peak minute rate.

“Ten Arab countries impose taxes on fixed voice services charged to the end users. These are the governments of Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen. The governments of the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) countries in addition to Iraq, Libya and Syria do not impose taxes on end users. Morocco has the highest sales tax rates on fixed voice services in the region followed by Mauritania and Tunisia,” said Zaid Abawi, senior research analyst at Arab Advisors Group.

“By June 2013, thirteen out of the nineteen countries had liberalised fixed line markets in the Arab World. Out of these thirteen Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia had competitive fixed line markets, while Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Sudan and the UAE had duopoly fixed line markets. The remaining six countries, namely: Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Yemen had not liberalised their fixed line markets by June 2013,” he added.

In June, the CEOs of Jordan’s three mobile operators lambasted the country’s taxation of the telecoms sector during the first keynote panel discussion at the Arab Advisors’ Convergence Summit.


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