Taxation will be one of your main concerns if you are moving to Cameroon, especially if you intend to work there. Most workers, including expatriates, have to pay income tax. In fact, the tax rate for them ranges between 10 and 35%, depending on your yearly income threshold. Those earning more than CFA 5 million per year have to pay a 35% rate income tax.
Note that the tax year starts as at the 1st January and ends on the 31st December.
Types of taxes
Cameroon’s tax system includes different types of taxes.
- Corporate tax
- Personal income tax
- Property tax
- Registration fees and stamp duties
- Special tax on petroleum products
- Special income tax
- Audiovisual fees
- Contribution to the SCF
- Contribution to the National Employment Fund
- Municipal taxes
- Social contributions.
Personal income tax
Personal income tax applies to all residents in Cameroon, including expatriates who are earning from Cameroonian sources of income. These include employees, pensioners, traders, farmers, artisans, landlords and other professionals.
Taxable income sources are the following:
- wages, pensions and annuities
- profits received by traders, artisans, farmers and liberal professionals
- property income, movable capital (whether assimilated or distributed by a corporation to people who are not known to tax authorities).
Tax rates range as follows:
- 10% – CFA 0 to CFA 2,000,000
- 15% – CFA 2,000,001 to CFA 3,000,000
- 25% – CFA 3,000,001 to CFA 5,000,000
- 35% – More than CFA 5 million
Note that an additional 10% municipal tax applies to the calculated tax amount.
Corporate tax directly applies to all corporate profits over a 12 months period corresponding to the fiscal year. However, if a company has come into operation only six months before the end of the fiscal year, it is allowed to submit its first report 18 months later.
Corporate tax payers are legal persons from:
- corporations, even when it comes to sole traders
- partnerships, syndicates and civil societies which have opted for corporate tax
- public institutions, regional and local authorities and public and legal persons who are engaged in gainful activities.
Taxable income is then constituted by operations revenue (regardless of its nature) performed by the company during the fiscal year and after deduction of related expenses.
Furthermore, corporate tax only applies to companies’ whose revenue is generated in Cameroon. The business has to be conducted within an institutional framework or through a representative whose professional profile is indistinguishable from that of the company.
Corporate tax is levied at a rate of 35% plus a 10% municipal tax rate.
The tax return must be submitted to tax authorities at the latest on the 15th of March of each fiscal year.
To declare your taxes, you are required to visit the General Taxes Directorate along with your taxpayer’s card, the pre-filled statement and proof of income. This can also be performed online on the General Tax Directorate’s website.
Note that the taxpayer’s card is valid for two years and is renewable. Foreigners working or residing in Cameroon can apply for this card at the nearest tax office to his place of residence.