Tens of lawyers protest the new e-invoice system at the Lawyers syndicate HQ in Cairo on Thursday.Photo: Lawyer Khaled Ali
The protesters held banners that read “I am a lawyer, I am against the e-invoice”, and chanted slogans that said “I am not against the state, I am the state’s son” and “Lawyers reject e-invoice”.
The Egyptian Tax Authority had announced earlier that self-employed professionals, including doctors, engineers, artists, consultants and lawyers, are obliged to register in the e-invoice system.
The deadline for submitting their invoices through the website is 15 December 2022.
The authority has stated that those professionals should use the e-invoice system when dealing with establishments registered at the Tax Authority or with customers.
Following an emergency meeting on Tuesday, the Lawyers Syndicate announced that it rejected forcing lawyers to register on the system.
It also demanded lawyers not to escalate their protest until the committee, which was formed last week from the syndicate and the Tax authority, reached a solution.
Last week, Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait, Chairman of the Tax Authority Mokhtar Tawfik and Head of Lawyers Syndicate Abdel-Halim Allam held a meeting to discuss the lawyers’ concerns regarding the e-invoices system.
The meeting resulted in forming the joint committee in an attempt to reach a solution.
In the past two weeks, lawyer sub-syndicates in various governorates rejected obligatory registration on the new e-invoice system, vowing to escalate their protests in case the concerned parties failed to reach a solution.
Many lawyers complained that the new e-invoice involves new fees as well as the Value added tax (VAT). These fees and taxes, they said, would increase their costs as well as the fees they impose on their clients. They also noted that practising the law was anything but a commercial venture and that sometimes they represented clients pro bono.
Earlier on Thursday, the Doctors Syndicate also rejected the e-invoice system. Head of the Doctors syndicate Hassan Khairy announced that he requested to meet Minister Maait to discuss the issue of the e-invoice system.