The tax year in Cameroon is the calendar year.
On or before 15 March, taxpayers are expected to submit to the tax administration the annual return of revenue derived from their business venture during the period serving as the tax base.
This return must be presented in conformity with the OHADA accounting system.
No one may invoke a claim on the state to shirk its return and payment obligations.
Despite the declarative tax system applicable in Cameroon, the tax administration may send a pre-completed return of collected revenue or any other taxable item, with the tax amount owed, to any natural or legal person paying taxes or duties as per laws and regulations in force.
The taxpayer that feels overtaxed or wrongfully taxed under a pre-filled tax return procedure shall submit a request for correction to the competent taxation centre within one month of receipt of such return. In such case, the tax authorities and the taxpayer shall have 30 days within which to decide the final taxes established by a collection notice (CN).
Failure to pay within 15 days of receiving the CN or respond to a pre-filled tax return in time shall be tantamount to accepting the terms thereof.
Other tax filings
Firms falling under a dispensational or special tax regime shall file, by 15 March, a summary declaration of transactions of the previous year for which they obtained tax benefits, including theoretical taxes and levies corresponding to the said transactions.
Firms shall, by 15 March, submit to the tax administration a summary of all the stock movements of the previous year, together with the software used in managing the said stock.
Approved intermediaries shall, through electronic means, provide the Directorate General of Customs, on a monthly basis, the information on the status of all foreign financial transactions carried out with their customers and on their personal behalf.
Payment of tax
An instalment representing the 2.2% or 5.5% minimum tax of turnover realised during each month shall be paid to the tax authorities not later than the 15th day of the following month.
Advance payment of 0.5%, 2%, 5%, 10%, 14%, 15%, 15.04%, or 20% is withheld at source by the buyer or the customs administration on purchases and imports destined to be resold, depending on the tax regime applicable to the buyer or importer. See Minimum tax in the Taxes on corporate income section for more information.
The balance of CIT is paid, at the latest, on 15 March following the fiscal year-end, when submitting the CIT return.
Surplus tax payments
A surplus tax payment can be offset against future taxes of the same nature to be paid.
Excess payments of CIT shall be reimbursed in case of cessation of activities.
For the specific case of VAT, a reimbursement procedure is provided for by the GTC under certain conditions. Such VAT credit refund procedure shall depend on whether the taxpayer is classified in the category of low, medium, or high-risk company.
Tax audit process
There is no audit cycle in Cameroon.
As of January 2018, whatever the cause, any importer or exporter wishing to terminate one's customs activities shall first inform the customs administration at least 90 days beforehand and request a customs audit. In the absence of this prior audit, the taxpayer concerned, the taxpayer's officials, and/or the taxpayer's representatives shall remain jointly and severally liable for the customs debts subsequently established.
Statute of limitations
The statute of limitations is four years.
Topics of focus for tax authorities
The topics of focus for tax authorities include the following:
- Remunerations paid for services provided to local entities by providers located overseas.
- Transfer pricing.
- Deduction and reimbursement of VAT.
- Stocks (inventory valuation and management).