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Ethiopia forced to withdraw tax hike that resulted in protests

Ethiopian authorities have withdrawn a proposed tax hike for small businesses, the Addis Standard news portal has reported.

The withdrawal comes in the wake of protests by the affected business people. Shops were closed in the Oromia State early last week in defiance of the new tax, by Friday, the action had spread to the capital Addis Ababa, with shops in bustling parts all closed.

The portal cited the head of the Ethiopia Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA), Kebede Chane, as saying the decision to scrap the tax hike was hinged to the complaints they had received from affected persons.

He is also quoted by other local portals to have said that micro business owners including barbers / hair dressers, tailors, laborers, and street coffee vendors will be encouraged to pay “what they agree to pay.” The class of protesters are those

The tax in question targets businesses in category ‘C’ of the taxation bracket. Such outfits had an annual turnover of up to 100,000 Birr (about $4,300), it was aimed primarily at boosting government revenue. Business people said their opposition to it was because it was over-estimated and the authorities are demanding too much.

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As at last week, the Addis Standard described the situation on the ground as a case of ‘testing the streets again.’ They report that police and military were deployed to parts of the region as at Monday, July 17, 2017.

The portal also reported some skirmishes in a city located about 120km west of the capital Addis Ababa. Aside the closure of shops in Addis Ababa, people were also said to have weighed options of returning their business licenses or filing complaints with the tax authorities.

Ethiopia’s biggest problems in the recent past has been of political nature with spreading anti-government protests in Amhara and Oromia regions. On the economic front, Addis Ababa has been lauded by major finance institutions including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Source- East Africa News


  1. It seems the classic reaction to taxation without representation. I heard that the ‘Emperor’ of Oromia is forced to pull back the new taxation law. You see. In the ‘good’ old days we used to have only one emperor. But now there are 11 emperors with one for each region and with one alpha dog tending to them. That alpha dog changes chairs all the time. Taxation without representation? That’s deep!!!!

  2. Erecha massacare,Addis ‘re Named as finfine,Now Taxation

  3. This a good example of people power. When people and businesses unite no government force is able to stop them. UNITED WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL. SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER. Since every day people were able to force tyrannical TPLF/EPRDF from imposing illegal taxes on them, they can use the same force to chase them out of power or force them to hold free and fair election w/in few months. TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION, NO WAY JOSE. I addition ethiopia has one of the highest business taxes. 30% tax is very very high. Like I said before, since TPLF gov is illegal and does not represent not even a single Ethiopian, nobody should pay taxes. If ethiopian businesses are forced to pay taxes they should demand for less than 10% tax.

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