Thousands of Egyptian lawyers protest against new tax invoicing system
Thousands of lawyers protested in Egypt on Friday against the imposition of a new electronic invoicing system, at lawyers’ syndicate offices in Cairo and other Egyptian cities.
The Egyptian Tax Authority announced last month that lawyers, doctors, and other self-employed professionals had to register with the electronic invoicing system by December 15th.
Lawyers have rejected this, saying that it imposes new fees and taxes on them, increasing their costs.
The Egyptian Doctors’ Syndicate has also rejected the new system.
The lawyers’ protests are a rare event in Egypt, where security forces have used violence to stop anti-government demonstrations before.
من مظاهرة نقابة المحامين المصرية اليوم حيث تجمع مئات من المحامين ضد إجراءات جديده خاصة بالضرائب علي المهن الحرة #مصر— Ahmed Samih (@AhmedSamih) December 1, 2022
From the demonstration of the Egyptian Bar Association today, where hundreds of lawyers gathered against new procedures for taxes departments #Egypt pic.twitter.com/C6TSMC6uDk
Mustafa Abu Al-Hassan, a member of the Lawyers’ Syndicate, said that the Egyptian government was treating lawyers as if they were commercial traders rather than professionals.
“The government is dealing with lawyers as if they were traders, and this is wrong. The new system places additional financial burdens on the legal profession without any cause,” he told the Arabic news website Arabi 21.
Abu Al-Hassan also accused the Egyptian state of trying to squeeze money from lawyers and other professionals amid the economic and financial crisis Egypt is currently facing.
Egypt’s economy, which is heavily dependent on wheat imports, has suffered as a result of the conflict in Ukraine and last month the Egyptian pound sunk to its lowest ever level against the US dollar.