All lawyers who “keep accounts” will join the state’s health insurance scheme. A decree will deal with their integration into the compulsory basic health insurance. The text was adopted on 17 November in the Government Council. It has not yet been published in the official bulletin.
The project, of which Médias24 has a copy, falls under Law 98.15 regarding the basic AMO scheme for professionals, self-employed and self-employed persons exercising a liberal activity. But also by the Act on determining pensions for the same categories. It is specific natural persons who keep accounts, including black cloths.
The text sets out the terms and deadlines for registration with the National Social Security Fund (CNSS). This registration takes effect on the first day of the month following the month in which the taxable person kept his accounts. For natural persons who keep accounts before 1 November 2022, the registration takes effect from 1 December.
Details about contributions
Contributions must be paid monthly at the beginning of each month. These contributions will be calculated on the basis of the fixed income established by the decree:
– 1 times the value of the legal minimum wage in non-agricultural activities (SMIG), multiplied by the normal annual working hours as established by the Labor Code;
– 2 times the declared value for natural persons subject to the simplified real net result, which realizes an annual net profit of 50,000 DH;
– 3 times the stated value for persons who obtain an annual profit of more than 50,000 DH without exceeding 100,000 DH;
– 4 times the listed value for those who make a profit of more than 100,000 DH and not more than 150,000 DH;
– 5 times the stated value for those who make a profit of more than 150,000 DH and not more than 200,000 DH;
– 6 times the listed value for people who make a profit above 200,000 DH.
Unlike other liberal professions that influence the legal community, lawyers have not been the subject of a specific decree. “Rather, it is a global text that applies to all natural persons who keep accounts who do not already have a special text. Lawyers are therefore worried”, explains a source involved in the process.
But what about paralegals and trainee lawyers? “The latter are either employees of the company, who as such would be covered by the social security scheme for white-collar workers (Act of 1972), or they are partners and will therefore be considered non-salaried”, clarifies another source.
Lawyers fear a “double puncture”
The text also does not deal with the categories of lawyers who practice in professional civil society. “However, when a lawyer does not practice as a natural person and operates within the framework of an SCP, he no longer has tax identification. It is the SCP that is identified for tax purposes, since it is this entity that invoices”, emphasizes a conversational partner in the Casablanca bar.
“Instead of setting aside a special text for us, which takes into account all the aspects of the subject, we were introduced in the general text. This is due to the lack of cooperation and communication from our professional institutions, which en bloc refused to integrate the CNSS”, adds our source.
The adoption of this text occurs in a turbulent context for the profession, characterized by its protests against another state initiative: the revision of the tax system applicable to lawyers. Virulent on the tax side, the latter is not completely closed to the idea of becoming a member of the CNSS. Surveyed by us, many even see it as an opportunity in light of the failure of their Mutuelle générale des barreaux du Maroc.
Integrate yes, but not without caveats. Because the lawyers see themselves taking on two charges for – theoretically – the same service: the lawyers to finance the mutual insurance company and the state’s for the basic AMO.
“Citizens finance the mutual by imposing vignettes on lawyers, who must pay an amount upon request submitted to the court. The size of the vignette is different depending on the bar that sets it (eg: 50 DH for each vignette in Casablanca)”, supports a lawyer at the bar in Rabat. “Now that AMO is mandatory, will they continue to puncture us from everywhere?” Asks another attorney, referring to these vignettes.
The opinion of lawyers does not necessarily reflect the position of their bar association. And even less from the Bar Association of Morocco, the government’s official interlocutor on this issue. ABAM has publicly expressed its rejection of the medical coverage as proposed by the stateand argued that the profession had its own regime.