Taxation of branch income is the same as for corporate income. However, a 20% WHT on profit is due at the time the profit is taken by the head office (located abroad) of the branch. This rate is reduced to 10% in case of the existence of a tax treaty.
Simplified tax regime for oil subcontractors
There is a simplified tax regime specific to the oil sector, which is a lump-sum tax regime granted for a biennial period. The request to benefit from such a tax regime is renewable for an additional period of two years, at least. Should the biennial period end after the first quarter of a considered year, the benefit from the simplified tax regime will apply until the end of the said year.
Features of this specific regime are as follows:
- The option for this regime is irrevocable for a period of two years, renewable once.
- The total duration of the benefit of such a regime can't exceed four years.
- The companies must perform their activities exclusively in the scope of oil operations.
- The option is granted by the Director of the General Tax Office to foreign companies.
- The subcontractor must have signed, with an oil company, a temporary agreement for the provisions of services to this company.
- The option is no longer granted to companies that have been in Gabon for more than nine years. The duration of nine years is calculated from the year during which the company started its activities in Gabon.
- The subcontractor must constitute a Gabonese branch office.
The rates for the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years are 35% for CIT and 20% for PIT of expatriate employees.
Specific regime for regional offices (quartiers généraux)
A regional office is a company or a branch that renders various administrative services, such as management or accounting, exclusively to other companies of the same group based in a given geographical area (usually a group of countries).
Taxation is based on the expenses of the regional office. A rate, between 5% and 12%, is applied to operating expenditures to determine the tax basis. The CIT rate is then applied to that basis.