Merchants across the Rabat region went on strike today in protest of the government’s new tax measures using electronic invoicing.
Rabat – Many shops, groceries, bakeries, butcheries, and service providers are closed in Rabat today.
Some people struggled to even find bread this morning, city residents told Morocco World News. Only supermarkets are open.
Trade unions and associations representing merchants are demanding the repeal of Article 145 of the General Code of Taxes on electronic billing and the business identification number, which stipulates that merchants have to use electronic billing for commercial transactions.
On Tuesday, Minister of Trade and Industry Moulay Hafid Elalamy met with the chambers of commerce and industry, customs, the General Directorate of Taxes (DGI), and merchants’ representatives to discuss electronic billing and merchants’ demands.
During the meeting, trade unions and the DGI and customs signed an agreement to meet the merchants’ demands and end planned strikes. The agreement stipulated that merchants subject to the lump sum system are exempt from the electronic billing system and the business identification number.
The text also specified that the implementation of the new measures on electronic invoicing will be suspended. The development of the organic law regarding electronic billing, according to the agreement, will involve the input of professional bodies “in the context of a participatory approach.”
The new tax measures, which recently sparked an uproar among merchants, stipulate that merchants should use an electronic system to issue invoices. To do this, merchants must have billing software approved by tax authorities and an information system allowing a common database with the tax authorities.
On January 3, many wholesalers in Casablanca closed their shops and held a sit-in at La Victoire Place protesting the new tax law.
The protesting merchants were from Derb Omar, Allal Garage Allal, Korea, and Bayada, the main commercial sites in Casablanca.
Last week, trade minister Elalamy, Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani, Government Spokesman Mustapha El Khalfi, and the General Directorate of Taxes (DGI) all reacted to the new tax measures on the use of electronic invoicing.
On Monday, economy minister Mohamed Benchaaboun also responded to the issue.
Last week, El Othmani announced that the government will suspend the implementation of the new tax measures using electronic invoicing, planned to come into force in early 2019 to fight tax fraud.