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INDUSTRIAL SECTOR : Cameroon Records High Tax Burden Rate

According to a survey on the business climate in the industrial sector, recently published by the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Territorial Development (Minepat), 81 % of business leaders find the tax burden rate high, 18 % find it average and 1 % consider it low.

More than half of the bosses of the 1,000 companies surveyed believe that they do not have good relations with the customs, tax and other departments. In general, the study emphasizes, the bosses of the industrial sector think that taxation is heavy in Cameroon. Estimated at 11.8 % of GDP in 2022, the tax burden rate reached 12.6 % in 2023, according to the Directorate General of Taxes (DGI) of the Ministry of Finance, which projects it at 13.55 % in 2024. For the DGI, the tax burden in Cameroon still remains lower than the African average estimated at 17.2 %, as well as international standards. “It is generally accepted that the share of compulsory levies in national wealth must reach at least 25 % to be significant and generate real development,” says the DGI.

According to financial experts, the problem of taxation in Cameroon is not pressure, but tax fairness. Indeed, the tax burden in the country is essentially borne by a tiny number of taxpayers, especially large companies, while many potential taxpayers escape the tax authorities. In its recent report on governance and corruption in Cameroon, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), indicates that « large formal companies in Cameroon are burdened not only by a high overall tax rate, but also by unusually strict limits in terms of tax deductions ».

The Bretton Woods Institution informs that « high effective tax charges on the profits of formal companies favor informality and the erroneous declaration of profits and turnover ». It proposes to Cameroon to reduce the legal rates of corporate tax, minimum tax and flat-rate (liberatory) and simplified taxation systems provided for in the General Tax Code. Since 2020, the Inter-employer Grouping of Cameroon (Gicam) deplores the “confiscatory” nature of the tax, the general corporate rate of which is 33 % (including the local council surcharge), while the minimum tax is 2.2 % of turnover.


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