Invoices and VAT fees
must be issued only in lira
Ministry of Finance warns
of fines and legal action
Businesses and self-employed professionals are required to issue invoices in lira, including the value added tax (VAT), according to a statement by the Ministry of Finance (MoF). They must also hand over these invoices to their customers, it said.
Many of these taxpaying entities issue invoices in foreign currencies and so violate the consumer protection law which prohibits such practices and some of them collect taxes from their customers in foreign currencies, according to MoF.
The ministry said that it will fine and take legal action against those who do not comply with these legal requirements.
Hicham El Moukammal, Vice Chairman of the Lebanese Association of Certified Public Accountants (LACPA), and member of the Higher Council of Accounting, said that this decision aims to protect final consumers from abuses. He said that using the national currency is a basic constitutional obligation as is the case in all countries.
MoF’s new notice follows its recent decision requiring taxpayers to record transactions in foreign currencies at the actual market exchange rate of the lira instead of the official rate of LL1,507.5. Recording sales at the real exchange rate will raise the value of VAT which was previously calculated on the basis of the official rate. VAT paid at the Customs on imported goods will continue to be valued at the official rate, according to Sarkis Sakr, Chairman of LACPA.
Date Posted: Jan 15, 2021