(Business in Cameroon) - An extract of Cameroon’s 2018 finance act, submitted for approval to parliamentarians on November 14, 2017, reads: ”a 5% tax will be imposed on the following products: acacia gum, rice, palm oil, hot pepper, cola nuts, millet, sorghum pepper and the vegetable called Eru”.
A tax expert explained that these products, most of which are non-timber forest products, were exempted from tax till now. However, Cameroon’s government want to introduce this tax to deal with some shady economic operators.
In fact, some of these operators use the above-mentioned products as a cover to export taxable ones. This is to avoid paying taxes, a practice that deprives Cameroon’s public treasury of huge tax revenues.
The reform also falls within the framework of the widening of the tax base that some development partners, such as the IMF, recommended. It is aimed at maximizing the collection of non-oil revenues in order to reduce the budget deficit subsequent to the decrease of oil revenues and the general economic slowdown within CEMAC community over the past two years.
Brice R. Mbodiam