Cabo Verde

Corporate - Significant developments

Last reviewed - 29 July 2022

June 2022

Special Economic Zone of the Island of Maio – Special Tax regime published

Law 11/X/2022, of 6 June, published in the Official Gazette, regulates the Special Economic Zone of the Island of Maio in Cabo Verde (“Zona Económica Especial da Ilha do Maio” or “ZEEIM”).

The diploma now published establishes the ZEEIM, foreseeing the legal framework of the respective implementation, organization, development, and functioning. It also establishes the tax and customs benefits regime applicable.

ZEEIM includes a designated geographic area in the Island of Maio, comprising the Integrated Development Tourist Zones (“Zonas de Desenvolvimento Turístico Integrado” or “ZDTI”) in the south part of Maio village, of Ribeira Dom João and Pau Seco, as well as all areas in which related production facilities are built.

Elegible entities

The following entities are entitled to the ZEEIM regime:

  • Legal persons and branches duly registered in the One-Stop-Shop (“Balcão Único);
  • Natural persons:
    • Regarded under Cabo Verde Law as non tax resident in Cabo Verde in the previous five years, that remain for 90 consecutive or nonconsecutive nights in the ZEEIM in any 12 month period starting or ending in the year concerned;
    • Duly registered in the Balcão Único;
    • That pay the single annual fee amounting to EUR 10,000.

Eligible activities

The eligible activities within the ZEEIM are listed in Annex II of the diploma now published. It includes, among other, agricultural activities, manufacturing industry, transports, telecommunications, computer consultancy, management consultancy, legal and accounting, head office activities, etc.

Eligible activities may include, once approved by a separate diploma, leasing of intellectual property and similar products. Activities related with the leasing of authors’ rights and R&D activities are however excluded.

Tax and custom benefits

ZEEIM comprises several tax and customs benefits. These do not apply to activities carried out by licensed legal and natural persons outside the geographic area of the ZEEIM. These shall be subject to the general rules applicable.

Taxes on income

Corporation Tax (“IRPC”)

Legal persons and branches duly registered in the ZEEIM are entitled to reduced IRPC rates, depending on the number of jobs created (excluding part time work), as follows:

  • 5% IRPC rate in case of creation of 10 or more jobs.
  • 5% IRPC rate in case of creation of 20 or more jobs.
  • 5% in case of creation of 50 or more jobs (minimum of 4 jobs in case of rendering of services).

Personal Income Tax (“IRPS”)

Natural persons eligible under the ZEEIM are entitled to reduced IRPS rates, as follows:

  • 5% IRPS rate on income earned foreseen in the IRPS Code;
  • 5% IRPS rate on income from a professional activity, subject to the creation of at least 4 jobs (excluding part time work).

The reduced IRPS rate depend on the payment of an annual single fee of EUR 10,000.

Non-resident

Non-resident egal and natural persons are exempt from taxation on income obtained in the ZEEIM as follows:

  • Profits place at disposal by entities in which they hold sharecapital, that are licensed and subject to the ZEEIM special tax regime.
  • Interest and other types of remuneration of shareholders loans and other advance payments of capital made to entities in which they hold sharecapital, that licensed in the ZEEIM.
  • Income from the rendering of services to entities licensed in the ZEEIM related with the respective activity.

The above exemption requires:

  • In the case of legal persons, they must be subject, in their State of residence, to a tax with a similar nature to IRPC; the respective applicable legal rate shall not be lower than 60% of the IRPC with reference to the date of publication of the diploma that approved the ZEEIM.
  • In the case of natural persons, they must be subject, in their State of residence, to a tax with a similar nature to IRPS.

Any other income obtained in the ZEEIM by non residents is subject to taxation in Cabo Verde under general terms.

VAT and excise duties

An exemption from VAT and excise duties applies to legal persons and branches registered in the ZEEIM, as well as to natural persons resident in the ZEEIM that paid the annual single fee. The exemption applies on the importation of goods and services to be utilized and consumed within the tax free zone and the tax free shops in the ZEEIM.

The above exemption applies only to the acquisition of goods to be utilized and consumed within the tax free zone and the tax free shops in the ZEEIM in the case natural persons who are not resident in the ZEEIM and that have not paid the annual single fee.

Property Taxes

Legal persons and branches registered in the ZEEIM, as well as natural persons resident therein, are exempt from property taxes on the acquisition and maintenance of the ownership (or other rights) of property located in the ZEEIM.

Stamp Tax

Legal persons and branches registered in the ZEEIM, as well as natural persons resident therein, that carry out activities in the ZEEIM, are exempt from Stamp Tax. The exemption does not apply to entities that are regarded as resident in Cabo Verde under general terms.

Custom duties

Legal persons and branches registered in the ZEEIM, as well as natural persons with investment therein, are exempt from any taxes, fees, or charges on the importation of any goods that are necessary to carry out the eligible activities, within the context of the respective construction, installation and maintenance.

Entry into force

The regime of the ZEEIM entered into force on 7 June 2022.

May 2022

Special Economic Zone for Technologies - Special tax regime approved

Decree-Law no. 15/2022, of 12 May, published in the Official Gazette, creates and regulates the Special Economic Zone for Technologies (“Zona Económica Especial para Tecnologias” or “ZEET”). ZEET is located in Praia, island of Santiago, and in Mindelo, island of São Vicente, in the Cabo Verde archipelago. The diploma establishes the rules for setting up and operating an entity in the ZEET, as well as the applicable tax and customs regime.

Scope of permitted activities

ZEET targets technology entities developing activities having the following characteristics:

  • Promote or foster wealth, added value and job creation (specially, youth employment);
  • Foster exports;
  • Promote a culture of innovation, fostering creativity at the level of technological R&D;
  • Facilitate the development of digital services;
  • Create favourable conditions for an incubation hub for technology start ups.

Tax and customs regime

Besides being granted financial incentives, entities authorised to operate in the ZEET are granted the following tax and customs benefits:

  • Reduced corporation tax (IRPC) rate of 2.5%;
  • Exemption from IRPC or personal income tax (IRPS) applicable to entities who are shareholders of ZEET authorized entities concerning profits made available and interest and other types of remuneration of shareholders’ loans or advance payments made to the entity. This also includes interest due because of not receiving profits or other remuneration made available by the entity;
  • Exemption from VAT;
  • Exemption from Stamp Tax on the funding related with the investment;
  • Exemption from property tax (IUP);
  • Exemption from custom duties on the import of certain materials (e.g. software), equipment, raw materials, consumables, finished and semi-finished goods; custom duties incurred are refundable in the case of the exemption not being granted;
  • Exemption from notary fees on the incorporation and registration of the ZEET entity;
  • 50% exemption on notary fees due on the purchase and sale of real estate used by the ZEET entity.

ZEET entities are required to comply with the tax obligations foreseen in the tax law, including transfer pricing, autonomous taxation, as well as assessment and payment of taxes. The tax obligations foreseen in the Tax Benefits Code (“Código dos Benefícios Fiscais”) for entities licensed in the International Business Center (“Centro Internacional de Negócios” or “CIN”) of Cabo Verde are also applicable to ZEET entities.

The ZEET regime entered into force on 13 May 2022. It is effective until 2030.

January 2022

Special VAT regime for e-commerce approved

Following the publication of Law 4/X/2021, of 31 December (2022 State Budget Law), the special VAT regime for e-commerce was approved. It aims at taxing in the Cabo Verde territory distance selling and the provision of services originating from outside.

In brief, this regime applies to distance selling of goods originating from outside the Cabo Verde territory, as well as services rendered by taxpayers without head office, permanent establishment or domicile in Cabo Verde, whenever the acquirer as head office, permanent establishment or domicile in the Cabo Verde territory, or if the payment originates in Cabo Verde or if it has the intervention of a financial institution established in Cabo Verde.

The regime does not apply to supplies above CVE 10,000 or related to products subject to excise duties.

Under the regime, it is regarded as a taxpayer, an entity that supplies goods and services to which the higher global value payments were made, either through credit card, bank transfer or other means foreseen in the national financial system. These entities will be listed by the Ministry of Finance, based on information to be provided by financial institutions.

December 2021

2022 State Budget Law published

Law 4/X/2021, of 31 December 2021, approved the 2022 State Budget Law. It entered into force on 1 January 2022.

The 2022 State Budget Law maintains in force in 2022 several tax incentives. It also introduces the following tax provisions:

  • Corporate income tax (CIT) payers with organised accounting are allowed to consider an additional deduction of 30% of the costs incurred with the acquisition of water and electricity.
  • The value-added tax (VAT) rate on the supply of electricity and water to end consumers is now 8% (previously 15%).
  • Introduction of the special VAT regime for e-commerce, applicable to e-commerce international operations carried out in Cabo Verde by taxpayers included in the list of large e-commerce players, to be prepared by the Ministry of Finance. The provisions now published include a definition of international operations of e-commerce, as well as rules regarding the place of supply, taxable event, registration and declaration obligations, applicable rate, payment of tax, and a subsidiary regime applicable in case a registration is not completed, as well as rules applicable to financial institutions that handle payments to the e-commerce players covered by the subsidiary regime.

For further detail, please see our Tax Flash.