All lawyers “keeping accounts” will join the state medical coverage scheme. A decree will act on their integration into compulsory basic health insurance. The text was adopted on November 17 in the Council of Government. It has not yet been published in the Official Bulletin.
The project, of which Médias24 holds a copy, comes under Law 98.15 relating to the basic AMO scheme for professionals, the self-employed and self-employed persons exercising a liberal activity. But also of the law establishing pensions for these same categories. It specifically concerns natural persons keeping accounts, including black robes.
The text sets the terms and deadlines for registration with the National Social Security Fund (CNSS). This registration will take effect from the first day of the month following that in which the taxable person kept his accounts. For natural persons who keep accounts before November 1, 2022, registration will take effect from December 1.
Details of contributions
Contributions must be paid monthly at the beginning of each month. These contributions will be calculated on the basis of the fixed income fixed by the decree:
– 1 times the value of the legal minimum wage in non-agricultural activities (SMIG), multiplied by the normal annual working time as set by the labor code;
– 2 times the value quoted for natural persons subject to the simplified real net result who realize an annual net profit of 50,000 DH;
– 3 times the quoted value for people making an annual profit of more than 50,000 DH without exceeding 100,000 DH;
– 4 times the quoted value for those making a profit of more than 100,000 DH and not exceeding 150,000 DH;
– 5 times the quoted value for those making a profit of more than 150,000 DH and not exceeding 200,000 DH;
– 6 times the quoted value for people making a profit exceeding 200,000 DH.
Unlike other liberal professions affecting the legal community, lawyers have not been the subject of a specific decree. “It is rather a global text that applies to all natural persons who keep accounts who do not already have a special text. Lawyers are therefore concerned”, explains a source involved in the process.
But what about associate lawyers and trainee lawyers? “The latter are either employees of the firm who would, as such, be subject to the social security system for salaried workers (law of 1972), or they are partners and they would therefore be considered as non-salaried workers”, specifies a second source.
Lawyers fear a “double puncture”
The text does not address the categories of lawyers practicing in professional civil society either. “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 which is identified for tax purposes since it is this entity that invoices”, underlines an interlocutor at the Casablanca bar.
“Instead of devoting a special text to us which takes into consideration all the aspects of the profession, we were introduced into the general text. This is attributable to the lack of cooperation and communication from our professional institutions, which refused en bloc to integrate the CNSS”, adds our source.
The adoption of this text occurs in a turbulent context for the profession, marked by its protests against another state initiative: the overhaul of the tax system applied to lawyers. Virulent on the tax side, the latter are not totally closed to the idea of joining the CNSS. Surveyed by us, many even see it as an opportunity in the face of the failure of their Mutuelle générale des barreaux du Maroc.
Integrate yes, but not without reservations. Because the lawyers see themselves assuming two levies for – theoretically – the same service: that of the bars to finance the mutual insurance company, and that of the State for the basic AMO.
“The bars finance the mutual by imposing vignettes on lawyers, who must pay a sum on request filed with the court. The amount of the vignette differs according to the bar which fixes it (ex: 50 DH for each vignette in Casablanca)”, supports a lawyer at the bar of Rabat. “Now that the AMO is compulsory, will they continue to puncture us from everywhere?” Asks another lawyer, in reference to these vignettes.
The opinion of lawyers does not necessarily reflect the position of their bars. And even less of the Bar Association of Morocco, official interlocutor of the government on this question. ABAM has publicly expressed its rejection of the medical coverage as proposed by the Statearguing that the profession had its own regime.