The Cameroonian government announced it has tabled a bill in parliament that calls for a coalition between the tax administration and taxpayer groups. The move is aimed at increasing public tax compliance.
Under this coalition, the bill states, the obligations of taxpayer groups include commitments to broaden the tax base, compliance with reporting and payment obligations, and improving the quality of returns. The obligations of tax authorities include the exemption from tax audits, the granting of penalty remissions, and preferential payment moratoria. “The modalities of implementation of the integrated tax partnership are specified by a specific text,” the draft text explained.
This bill is being proposed in the context of fiscal constraints in Cameroon. According to the Ministry of Finance, the situation is mainly due to the significant weight of the informal sector on the economy (about 45% of GDP for a tax contribution of less than 5%). The constraints of taxation of the informal sector are related to tax non-compliance and the use of cash transactions carried out under banking channels.
For the time being, the finance ministry says, the tax population of Cameroon has increased from 89,741 in 2015 to more than 140,000 professional taxpayers in July 2021, up 58%. To achieve this development, the same source says, the tax administration has proceeded to “strengthen the withholding tax mechanism, which allows for deductions to be made on transactions carried out by informal sector companies with large companies. This mechanism makes it possible to mobilize more than CFA50 billion each year in advance payments and deposits from taxpayers in the informal sector.”