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Cabo Verde Corporate - Significant developments

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August 2019: Tax treaty between Cabo Verde and Angola signed

On 8 August 2019, the Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Cabo Verde and the Minister of Finance of Angola signed the double taxation agreement (tax treaty) between Cabo Verde and Angola for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion on matter of taxes on income.

The tax treaty foresees, among other measures:

  • Dividends taxed at a rate of 5% in case of ownership of the share capital of at least 25% for 365 days, including the day in which dividends are paid; 10% in the remaining situations.
  • Branch profit tax of 10%.
  • Interest taxed at a rate of 8%.
  • Royalties taxed at a rate of 7.5%.
  • Technical services taxed at rate of 5% (includes management services of a technical nature, as well as consultancy services, rendered by technical staff or other staff).

The tax treaty shall enter into force on the date of reception of the last notification related with the procedures applicable under the respective domestic legislation. Its provisions shall apply for the first time as follows:

  • Regarding taxes withheld: In respect of amounts paid or credited after 31 December of the year of exchange of the instruments of ratification.
  • For other income taxes: In respect of income generated in the tax year starting after 31 December of the year of exchange of the instruments of ratification.

The tax treaty is not yet in force.

March 2019: Cabo Verde - Senegal double taxation treaty (DTT) approved for ratification

Parliament’s Resolution no. 110/IX/2019 was published in the Official Gazette of 15 March 2019. It approves for ratification the Convention between Cabo Verde and Senegal for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion on the matter of taxes on income (tax treaty).

The tax treaty foresees, among other measures,:

  • Dividends taxed at the rate of 10%.
  • Interest taxed at the rate of 10%.
  • Royalties taxed at the rate of 10%.

The tax treaty is not yet in force.

February 2019: Cabo Verde - Spain DTT approved for ratification

Parliament’s Resolution no. 106/IX/2019 was published in the Official Gazette of 15 February 2019. It approves for ratification the Convention between Cabo Verde and Spain for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion on the matter of taxes on income (tax treaty).

The tax treaty foresees, among other measures,:

  • Dividends taxed at the rate of 0% in case the beneficial owner is a company (except if composed of natural persons) that directly owns at least 25% of the share capital of the company that pays the dividends; 10% in the remaining cases.
  • Interest and royalties taxed at the rate of 5%.

The tax treaty is not yet in force.

December 2018: State Budget Law for 2019 published

Law no. 44/IX/2018, of 31 December, which approves the State Budget for 2019, effective as of 1 January 2019, has been published. We summarise, as follows, the main amendments to the Cabo Verde tax law:

Corporate Income Tax (CIT)

Reduction of the CIT rate

The CIT rate applicable to entities taxed under the organised accounting regime was reduced to 22% (previously, 25%).

Tax Benefits Code

International Business Centre  (IBC)

Within the context of the IBC special tax regime, the job creation requirement was increased from five to ten jobs in the case of companies licensed in the International Industrial Centre (ICI) and International Trade Centre (ITC) and from two to four jobs in the case of companies licensed in the International Service Centre (ISC).

The remaining CIT benefits to the income resulting from activities carried out with other entities licensed and operating in the IBC, as well as with non-resident entities, have remained in force.

Regarding transfer pricing, autonomous taxation, assessment, and payment rules, the general rules provided for in the CIT Code shall apply. These rules were not previously foreseen in the IBC regime.

Maritime transport (tonnage tax)

A special regime was introduced for the assessment of the taxable profit applicable to maritime transport activities (tonnage tax). The taxable profit shall be determined by applying the following daily amounts to each eligible ship or vessel:

Net tonnage Daily taxable income for each 100 net tonnes (CVE*)
Up to 1,000 net tonnes 646
From 1,001 to 10,000 net tonnes 566
From 10,001 to 25,000 net tonnes 307
Above 25,000 net tonnes 103

 * Cabo Verdean escudos

No deductions are allowed to the taxable profit assessed. The taxable profit assessed is subject to CIT at the rates applicable to entities licensed in the IBC. No tax credits are available.

Retirement, Education, and Retirement/Education Savings Plans and Funds

The limit of Personal Income Tax (PIT) deduction was increased to CVE 100,000 (previously, CVE 75,000) in respect of amounts invested by taxpayers in each tax year in Retirement Savings Plans (RSP), Education Savings Plans (ESP), and Retirement/Education Savings Plans (R/ESP).

The limit of the PIT exemption was increased to CVE 75,000 (previously, CVE 50,000) regarding the income received from Retirement Savings Funds (RSF), Education Savings Funds (ESF), and Retirement/Education Savings Funds (R/ESF).

Credit institutions with restricted authorisation

Previously designated 'international financial institutions' have been renamed to 'credit institutions with restricted authorisation'. These are now subject to CIT at the rate of 10% (previously, 2.5%); this rate shall apply up to 31 December 2021 and shall be levied on profits derived from activities carried out with non-resident entities. Profits realised by these entities from 1 January 2022 onwards shall be taxed at the standard rate in force in Cabo Verde.

Effective 1 January 2019 onwards, the following exemptions previously granted to these entities have been revoked:

  • Exemption from stamp duty in all acts and operations carried out by those institutions or in which their clients intervene.
  • Exemption from withholding tax (WHT) on income earned by clients of those institutions, namely non-resident natural and legal persons, or resident natural and legal persons in respect of investments held abroad.

The general Cabo Verde tax regime applies to new credit institutions with restricted authorisation, licensed from 1 January 2019 onwards.

Transformation into generic authorisation banks

Restricted authorisation banks already established and authorised to operate in the Cabo Verde financial system can request the Central Bank (Banco de Cabo Verde) to be transformed into generic authorisation banks up to 30 June 2019, and proceed in carrying out financial transactions with residents.

Other incentives

Incentives for savings and credit cooperatives and microbanks

The following benefits are granted to savings and credit cooperatives and microbanks, created under Law no. 83/VIII/2015, of 16 January, as amended by Law no. 12/IX/2017, of 2 August:

  • Exemption from CIT for a three-year period from 1 January 2019 onwards; the exemption shall apply provided that there has been no distribution of profits or if profits have been reinvested in social projects carried out by non-profit organisations registered in the non-governmental organisations’ platform.
  • Exemption from customs duties on the import of materials and supplies to be used exclusively for their installation.
  • Exemption from customs duties, value-added tax (VAT), and excise duty on the import of one vehicle, aged not more than five years, exclusively allocated to the respective activities.

Incentives on the import of heavy passenger vehicles for collective transport of passengers, passenger vehicles for executive transport, and taxis

The following exemptions from customs duties, excise duty, and VAT on the importation of vehicles aged more than six years are granted:

  • Heavy passenger vehicles for collective transport of passengers comprising more than 30 seats, including driver, when imported by duly licensed companies operating in the respective sector.
  • New passenger vehicles intended for executive transport, carried out by the holders of the respective licence and duly authorised by the General Direction of Road Transport.
  • Heavy passenger vehicles for collective transport of passengers comprising more than 15 seats, including driver, when imported by public transporter with the respective permit, that is in the process of replacing licensed vehicles, as foreseen in the General Legal Regime of Transport in Motor Vehicles (Regime Jurídico Geral de Transportes em Veículos Motorizados).
  • Heavy passenger vehicles intended for school transport, duly equipped, comprising more than 23 seats, including driver, when imported by educational entity duly authorised by the competent ministry, local authorities, and public transporter, provided that those vehicles are duly licensed and authorised by the competent authorities.

The exemption from customs duties on the import of new passenger vehicles, as well as equipment, intended exclusively for the taxi service, carried out by holders of the respective taxi licence, remains in force.

Incentives on the import of transport vehicles for tourists

The exemption from customs duties, excise duty, and VAT on the import of heavy passenger vehicles for collective transport of passengers remains in force. Eligible transport vehicles must be duly equipped, aged not more than six years, comprising more than 30 seats, including driver, intended for exclusive transport of tourists and baggage, when imported by companies holding a licence and a tourist transport permit.

Incentives for Young Start-ups

The following incentives are granted to entities that carry out directly and as main activity an economic activity eligible under the Young Start-up Program, approved by Resolution No. 34/2017 of 25 April:

  • CIT rate of 5%, applicable in the first five years of activity, except in the case of information, communication, and technology (ICT) and research and development (R&D) activities, whose rate is 2.5%, regardless of the location of the head office or place of effective management.
  • Exemption from customs duties, excise duty, and VAT on the import of one vehicle for the transport of goods, comprising up to three seats in the cabin, including the driver, with a maximum age of five years, intended exclusively for the respective activity.
  • Exemption from import duties on the import of raw and subsidiary materials, materials, and finished and semi-finished products intended for incorporation into products manufactured within the scope of industrial projects; the incentive shall apply provided that the entities are certified and registered at the Industrial Registry during the installation, expansion, or remodelling phase.
  • Financial incentives, support for capacity-building, and other institutional support provided for in legislation of micro and small companies.
  • Exemption from stamp duty on financing agreements for the development of the respective activities.
  • Reduction of 50% of the fees due on notarial acts and registrations due on the purchase and sale of real estate for the respective installation.

It is established that eligible companies whose place of effective management is located outside the municipalities of Praia, São Vicente, Sal, and Boa Vista, shall benefit from a tax credit of 50% of the CIT assessed (not applicable to ICT and R&D).

It is also established that eligible companies shall benefit from the incentives provided for in article 13 (exemption from property tax), article 15 (exemption from customs duties), and article 32 (training, internships, and scholarships) of the Tax Benefits Code, as well as of the incentives foreseen for employers hiring young people.

Finally, it is established that eligible companies benefiting shall be subject to the payment of autonomous taxation under the general terms foreseen in the CIT Code.

Incentives for employers hiring young people

Natural and legal persons taxed under the organised accounting regime and that hire young people aged not more than 35 years for a first, job shall continue to be exempt from social security contributions. The employer is also required to have paid the contributions due by the employee to the social security.

Direct incentive to professional internships

Natural and legal persons taxed under the organised accounting regime may benefit from a tax credit on the CIT assessed of CVE 20,000 for each trainee hired for a minimum of six months.

This benefit shall not be cumulative with the benefit foreseen in article 33 of the Tax Benefits Code (training, internship, and scholarship costs associated with hiring young people aged not more than 35 years).

Interest rate support for micro production of renewable energies

Interest rate support of 50% was introduced on the interest on loans borrowed from financial institutions by families and by duly incorporated micro and small companies for the acquisition of equipment and installation services, aimed at the micro production of renewable energy, in accordance with the applicable legislation.

This support shall apply to final consumers covered by the normal low voltage category.


Last Reviewed - 21 August 2019

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