"(Business in Cameroon) - As part of the implementation of the new tax and budgetary reforms, especially those relating to the inclusion of active taxpayers in the chain of public expenditure, the Minister of Finance (...) informs the general public that, starting from the 2021 fiscal year, the status of ‘active taxpayer’ will be needed to engage in financial transactions with the Cameroonian administration,” a press release signed on January 11, 2021, by Finance Minister Louis Paul Motaze, reads.
According to the explanations of a senior official of the Directorate General of Taxes, in simpler terms, suppliers and service providers will no longer be paid if they are not up to date in their tax payments. This is one of the numerous measures initiated in recent years by Cameroon to broaden its tax base and secure revenues.
As a result of the reforms, non-oil revenue (which is the main contributor to public revenues in Cameroon) rose by 127.2% (XAF1,088.7 billion) during the 2009-2019 decade, from XAF855.7 billion to XAF1,944.4 billion.
This constant increase in public revenues, while satisfying the government's ever-growing needs, is however decried by economic operators, who constantly denounce pressure or even "tax harassment" from the tax authorities. A well-known example is Célestin Tawamba (President of Gicam, the largest employer grouping in Cameroon) who usually says that the country’s tax system is “confiscatory.”