(Business in Cameroon) - This past 13 March, in Douala, the economic capital of Cameroon, during the 8th edition of the Cameroon Business Forum, a networking platform for the private sector and public authorities, economic operators again expressed some grievances. Among which was the necessity for the government to open an escrow account to guarantee the refund of VAT credits to companies.
Indeed, as claimed by the economic operators, the retention of these funds by the State generally undermines the treasury of companies, who are however perpetually seeking funding to develop their activities. This situation is even more detrimental as these funds are often withheld by the Public Treasury for several years.
As an example, in July 2016, the members of the Association of Oil Refiners of Cameroon (ASROC) who process between 90 and 95% of the refined vegetable oils and household soaps in Cameroon and the CEMAC zone, demanded from the State a refund for 5 years of VAT credits.
We can recall that, according to the current tax regulation in Cameroon, exporting companies, for whom the application of a zero rate in terms of VAT puts them in a situation of structural credit, must submit an application for the refund of this tax after three months of cumulated credits. The corresponding funds must then be refunded within the legal deadline of 2 months, which is rarely respected by the State.