The Finance Law for 2016 (Law No. 33-2015) was passed on 31 December 2015. The following is a summary of the most relevant tax measures:
i. New categories of taxpayers
Taxpayers will now be divided into 4 categories as follows:
- Very small companies – annual turnover not exceeding XAF 25 million
- Small companies – annual turnover between XAF 25 and 100 million
- Medium companies – annual turnover between XAF 100 million and 2 billion
- Large companies – annual turnover exceeding XAF 2 billion
Three tax departments will be in charge of these categories:
- Small Companies Unit for very small and small companies, thus replacing the former “Division des Contributions Directes et Indirectes”
- Medium Companies Unit, a newly created department
- Large Companies Unit, already existing
Oil subcontractors will continue to be handled by the Oil Tax Department (“Division de la Fiscalité Pétrolière”), regardless of their turnover.
ii. Bank guarantee authorized as security when filing a tax claim
In order to file a claim against a reassessment decided by the tax administration after an audit, taxpayers have to pay in advance 10% of the reassessment value to the Public Treasury, as a security. This security can now consist in a bank guarantee for the same amount.
iii. Tax payments
As from 10 February 2016, taxes paid by medium and large companies must only be processed by wire transfer into the Public Treasury’s account. Only individuals, small and very small companies shall be allowed to pay their taxes in cash or by check for amounts not exceeding XAF 100,000.
iv. VAT reduced rate on imports
Imports benefitting from the 5% reduced rate of customs duties shall now also be subject to the 5% reduced VAT rate.
v. Reduction of PIT rate
The final tax bracket of PIT (for high revenues), which was set at 45%, is reduced to 40%. The Congolese authorities intend to gradually reduce PIT to 30% maximum for higher revenues.
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