Tuk-tuks, the three-wheeled vehicles that often serve as taxis, should be taxed the same way regular taxis are, according to a recent decision by Egypt’s sales tax department, a division of the finance ministry. From now on, the importers of tuk-tuks will pay a 15 per cent sales tax on the small motor vehicles that have flooded Egypt’s streets in recent years. “Tuks-tuks are a kind of taxi, and therefore a sales tax of 15 per cent should be imposed on them like other taxis,” sales tax department president Ahmed Abdel-Ghaffar stated in a Thursday press release. The decision to impose the new tax was taken after the interior ministry’s central traffic department ruled that, according to traffic laws, tuk-tuks should be treated like regular taxis. Unlike the drivers of regular taxis, however, tuk-tuk drivers are not issued with public-transport licences. A source from the sales tax department dismissed any link between the tuk-tuk tax and a government austerity plan that aims to cut the budget deficit by LE20 billion (roughly $3.3 billion). Government spokesmen had earlier said the austerity plan – precise details of which remain unclear – would not include any tax increases. ahramonline .