Congo, Republic of

Corporate - Significant developments

Last reviewed - 23 January 2024

Further to the promulgation of the 2023 Finance Law, the following new tax measures have been introduced:

  • Financial statements not attested or certified by a chartered accountant for companies under the actual profit tax regime without an auditor will not be accepted by the tax authorities.
  • General conditions have been fixed for the deduction of tax expenses and of the abnormal act of management theory.
  • Tax deductibility limit has been fixed on the remunerations paid to companies of the same group for the assignment of personnel.
  • Increase in the deductibility threshold of interests on current account advances and extension of the scope of deductibility limits.
  • Non-deductibility of interests on loans contracted outside the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) but not declared to the monetary authorities.
  • In the area of transfer pricing, in the absence of relevant information, the taxable profit of the company or the adjustment of its tax base is set in accordance with the arm's-length principle.
  • A country-by-country (CbC) report has been introduced.
  • The conclusion of an advance agreement with the tax authorities on transfer pricing methods is subject to a fee of 10 million CFA francs (XAF).
  • Confirmation of the simplified tax regime’s scope restriction to the oil subcontracting sector.
  • Confirmation of the withholding tax (WHT) application to oil marketing expenses paid abroad and to remunerations paid for inter-CEMAC services.
  • The collection of tax debts is limited to a period of ten years, while the of obligations relating to third party taxes for their legal debtor are not subject to a statute of limitation.
  • Tax incentives that are misused will not be enforceable to the tax authorities. 
  • Limitation of cash payments of taxes to amounts not exceeding XAF 200,000.
  • Tax rebates or refunds of taxes, duties, fees, penalties, or interests (including value-added tax [VAT] refunds), as approved by the administration, may now be offset against the payment of taxes, duties, fees, penalties, or interest due by a taxpayer.
  • The de-registration of an entity from the Trade Register is now subject to the prior presentation of a tax good standing certificate and a tax clearance certificate.
  • Corn and vegetable oil are now exempt from VAT.
  • The reduced VAT rate (5%) now applies to diesel and lubricants imported from any neighbouring country by logging companies based in Congo, and not only when imported from Cameroon. 
  • Invoices issued by VAT payers are now transmitted to the tax authorities by a certified electronic invoicing system.
  • As from the second quarter of 2023, the excise duty rate applicable to tobacco will be increased from 16.5% to 22.5% and that of alcoholic beverages from 12.5% to 17.5%. 
  • To facilitate the dematerialisation and certification of documents, all persons must carry out transactions related to their activity with third parties by electronic means.
  • It is expressly prohibited to levy a fee for the opening of an office opening before, during, or after import/export operations.
  • It is now expressly provided that, with the exception of goods eligible for diplomatic relief, the export or transfer of goods imported under a privileged customs regime requires the prior payment of the initially exempted duties and taxes.
  • It has been clarified that the duration of stay of material imported under the normal temporary admission regime can be extended only once and must consider the duration of warehouse placement.
  • Foreign companies’ branches are no longer eligible for the normal temporary admission regime once their legal lifespan has expired.
  • It is expressly provided that in the event of a customs offence resulting in the loss of duties or taxes for the administration, the benefit of any privileged customs regime is lost.
  • A customs exemption regime is set for imports by oil subcontractors who meet certain criteria, in particular a payroll of more than 85 people and an employment rate of Congolese nationals equal to or greater than 85%.
  • Exceptional land rights are set concerning individuals’ parcels and properties of both the private and public domains of the state.
  • A single business licence has been introduced, upon payment of the single tax for incorporation.
  • Gambling is subject to the electronic financial transactions royalty.
  • The fees due for certain acts, notably the import declaration, have been changed.