International Tax Review is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 8 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2023

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

FYR Macedonia: Introduction of lawyer stamps


Elena Kostovska

As of January 1 2013, the Law on Lawyer Stamps (effective as of July 2012) entered into force but is under review of the Constitutional Court following an avalanche of criticism from lawyers across the Republic. According to the law, FYR Macedonian lawyers who earn income in cash are now required to attach the lawyer stamps to each document/form they submit to the authorities in FYR Macedonia. The lawyer stamps are issued by the Public Revenue Office on the basis of an application from a lawyer. Subject to this law are all attorneys registered in the FYR Macedonian Bar Association and who provide legal services as physical persons-lawyers and not to those working within a legal entity – law firm. Such individual lawyers are now obliged to keep records of the used attorney's stamps and to submit the newly introduced E-AM form to the Public Revenue Office by January 31 of the following year.

The lawyer stamps are an instrument that is to be used for tracking the advance payment of personal income tax on the revenue realised by lawyers in cash. A widely criticised point of the new Law for Attorney Stamps is in fact that stamps will only be required for cash transactions where the fee for legal services is equal in amount to the minimum attorney fee for the particular service as set forward in the Tariff Guidebook for the Remuneration and Reimbursement of Expenses for Attorney services published in the Official Gazette. In cases where the fee is higher than the prescribed minimum rate the attorney is obliged to conclude a written services agreement with the client and the fee payment must be done through the banking system in FYR Macedonia (not in cash). In such cases, all legal documents submitted by lawyers to any of the state authorities must be accompanied with said legal services agreement.

According to the law, lawyers are now required to apply for lawyer stamps between the 1st and the 15th calendar day of each calendar quarter and thus obtain lawyer stamps for the next calendar quarter. With the application, lawyers are to also submit proof of advance payment of the personal income tax in amount of 10% of the value of the requested attorney stamps. Unused lawyer stamps can be used in the next tax periods. Failure to comply with the new Law is stipulated to result in a €2,500 ($3,200) to €5,000 penalty.

The law has faced strong criticism from individual lawyers; the main concern is that with the law, individual attorneys are now essentially required to prepay the personal income tax due from fees collected (before they even collect client fees). They have also expressed concern that the revenue office in this manner provides an unfair treatment among legal entities (law firms) and physical persons (individual lawyers). Lawyers have also objected to the fact that by providing copies of the service agreements with their clients along with each submission to courts they are essentially revealing the identity of their clients which is considered counter constitutional.

As mentioned above, the law is, as of March 6 2013, under review by the Constitutional Court of FYR Macedonia and as a result all provisions of the Law have been suspended pending the Court's final decision.

Elena Kostovska (
Eurofast Global, Skopje Office, FYR Macedonia

Tel: +389 2 2400225

more across site & bottom lb ros

More from across our site

Governments now have the final OECD guidance on how to implement the 15% global minimum corporate tax rate.
The Indian company, which is contesting the bill, has a family connection to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – whose government has just been hit by a tax scandal.
Developments included calls for tax reform in Malaysia and the US, concerns about the level of the VAT threshold in the UK, Ukraine’s preparations for EU accession, and more.
A steady stream of countries has announced steps towards implementing pillar two, but Korea has got there first. Ralph Cunningham finds out what tax executives should do next.
The BEPS Monitoring Group has found a rare point of agreement with business bodies advocating an EU-wide one-stop-shop for compliance under BEFIT.
Former PwC partner Peter-John Collins has been banned from serving as a tax agent in Australia, while Brazil reports its best-ever year of tax collection on record.
Industry groups are concerned about the shift away from the ALP towards formulary apportionment as part of a common consolidated corporate tax base across the EU.
The former tax official in Italy will take up her post in April.
With marked economic disruption matched by a frenetic rate of regulatory upheaval, ITR partnered with Asia’s leading legal minds to navigate the continent’s growing complexity.
Lawmakers seem more reticent than ever to make ambitious tax proposals since the disastrous ‘mini-budget’ last September, but the country needs serious change.