Cameroon, Republic of

Corporate - Withholding taxes

Last reviewed - 23 January 2020

Special income tax (SIT)

Subject to international tax treaties, an SIT is levied by the state or regional and local authorities on income paid to natural persons and corporate bodies domiciled abroad by enterprises or establishments based in Cameroon. The tax is withheld at source by the Cameroonian entity that pays the remuneration.

Subject to international tax treaties, the SIT rates are fixed as follows:

  • The general rate of 15% is applicable to remunerations paid abroad in respect of various services provided and used in Cameroon.
  • The average rate of 10% is applicable to remunerations for ad hoc material services paid to non-domiciled companies (undertaking short-term operations in Cameroon) that have a PE in Cameroon and waived the tax in accordance with the tax returns.
  • The reduced rate of 5% shall apply to:
    • Remunerations under public procurement where the successful bidders are not domiciled in Cameroon.
    • Remunerations paid abroad for the provision of access to digital audio-visual services.
    • Remunerations paid for all kind of services provided to oil companies during the R&D phases.

Non-commercial profits WHT

A 16.5% WHT is to be deducted at source by entities that pay remunerations granted to the board members of public institutions, public corporations, and semi-public companies in any capacity.

The tax rate applicable to non-commercial revenue is 11% to be deducted at source by entities that pay the following:

  • Allocations of any nature, such as allowances, gratuities, compensations, and daily subsistence allowances granted, in addition to salaries, by public and semi-public entities, excluding statutory compensations falling under the category of wages and of salaries, and reimbursement of costs, the list of which shall be established by decision of the Minister in charge of finance.
  • Amounts, allowances, allocations, or remunerations of any nature paid to sportsmen and artists, irrespective of their tax domicile.

Dividends WHT

A total WHT of 16.5% applies to dividends paid to both Cameroon residents and non-residents. The WHT rate may be reduced under an applicable DTT.

Interest WHT

The interest from foreign loans is subject to 16.5% WHT. The WHT rate may be reduced under an applicable DTT.

Interests on external loans of a maturity period of at least seven years, signed as of 1 January 2014, are exempted from the WHT.

Royalties WHT

Royalties paid to non-residents are subject to a 15% WHT (the 10% surcharge is not applicable). The tax rate may vary under some DTTs.

Tax treaties

Cameroon has tax treaties with Canada, France, Morocco, South Africa, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and members of CEMAC (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and Republic of Congo).

Recipient Dividends (%) Interest (%) Royalties (%) Head office expenses and technical assistance (%)
Non-treaty 16.5 16.5 15 15
Treaty:        
CEMAC 16.5 16.5 N/A N/A
Canada 16.5 16.5 16.5 15
France 15 15 N/A 7.5
Morocco 10 10 10 10
South Africa 10 10 10 10
Tunisia 12 15 15 15
United Arab Emirates 10 7 10 10