El Othmani says small-scale merchants are exempt from using electronic invoicing. Merchants respond that tax measures will affect them indirectly.
Rabat – Moroccan Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani reiterated that small merchants are not impacted by the electronic billing system.
The new tax measures requiring electronic invoicing, which recently sparked uproar among merchants, will only impact merchants whose revenue reaches MAD 1 million, El Othmani explained.
The head of government pledged that the amount will be further reviewed while meeting merchants’ demands.
El Othmani, who was speaking at an interview with Tamazight television channel on Thursday, said he “feels the merchants’ distress understands their demands.”
He emphasized the important role small and medium merchants play in the national economy. Recalling moments when he was young, El Othmani said his father used to send him to some merchants to learn commerce from them.
The new measures, which El Othmani said were suspended, stipulate that merchants should use billing software approved by tax authorities to issue invoices.
Regulatory texts regarding the electronic billing, said El Othmani, will not come into effect until after input and consultations with professional bodies and merchants.
Allowing a common database with the tax authorities, the measures were expected to come into force in early 2019 to fight tax fraud.
During Thursday interview, the prime minister said the meetings he had with professional bodies made him recognize “some problems that worry merchants such as health insurance to which I attach special attention.”
On January 18, merchants across the Rabat region closed their shops in protest of the government’s new tax measures using electronic invoicing. Many other cities in Morocco also went on strike during the last two weeks.
On January 23, merchants and service providers across Kenitra, near Rabat, also shut shops, groceries, bakeries, and butcheries.
Trade unions and associations representing merchants demanded 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.
For some merchants, the new tax measures using electronic invoicing will affect them indirectly.
A small merchant in Kenitra, a city north of Rabat, told Morocco World News Thursday that even if the government says “we are exempt from electronic billing, we will be affected by the new tax measures.”
“We do transactions with large merchants, concerned with the taxes, who will increase taxes on us.” But after all, it is the citizen, the end consumer, who will pay increased prices and be affected, he complained.