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Tax ID Number and Finger Print Requirement

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The Ethiopian government proclamation number 286/94 required all tax payers to register their businesses with the Ethiopian Custom and Revenue Authority (ECRA) office, submit the business owner’s finger print, and obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN). For Ethiopians living outside of Ethiopia obtaining accurate and timely information to comply with this proclamation has been rather difficult. This is an attempt to clarify the requirement, the timeline for compliance, and provide other relevant information.

What is a Tax ID Number (TIN)?
IN is a single unique Federal level Tax ID Number (much like a US SSN or Employer ID Number) issued by the ERCA office in Ethiopia. Only one Tax ID Number is required in Ethiopia regardless of the number or location of businesses owned and operated.

Who needs to get a Tax ID Number?
The short answer is: every Ethiopian needs to get a TIN.

More specifically, in the short run, people who are earning a taxable income on a business or a rental property in Ethiopia need to get a TIN and pay taxes. If you don’t earn a taxable income in Ethiopia now but you are entertaining opening a business or renting a real estate property in Ethiopia in the future, you are better off submitting a finger print and getting a TIN at the earliest convenience.

Where does one get a Tax ID Number?
A TIN can be obtained by filling out a form and submitting a finger print at one of the many ERCA branch offices located throughout the country.
What is the current finger print requirement status?
If you are an Ethiopian or Ethiopian origin living outside of Ethiopia and if you already earn a taxable income in Ethiopia, meaning you are an owner of a business currently operating in Ethiopia under your name, then you should already have some kind of TIN. The only thing missing is scanning your finger print and attaching it to your existing TIN.

If you are an Ethiopian or Ethiopian origin living outside of Ethiopia and you are in the process of making a new investment to open a new business in Ethiopia, then you are required to submit a finger print scan and get a TIN first. This has to be done as part of getting your business license.

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