Congo, Republic of
Services, dividends, and attendance fees
Services rendered by foreign suppliers are subject to a WHT. There are four WHT rates, which include the following:
- General rate of 20%.
- Average rate of 10%.
- Reduced rate of 5.75%.
- Fixed rate of 5%.
In addition, companies that have no tax residence in the Republic of Congo are subject to a 20% WHT if they earn revenues realised in the Republic of Congo or coming from the Republic of Congo, and which come from works or services of any nature performed or used in the Republic of Congo. This 20% WHT also includes premiums transferred abroad in reinsurance above the ceiling of 50% and collected by companies not domiciled in the CIMA member states (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Niger, Central Africa Republic, Senegal, and Togo).
WHT does not apply to resident suppliers of a country that has signed an international tax treaty with the Republic of Congo, provided certain conditions are met.
The 2023 Finance Law introduces a 10% WHT on sums paid by a Congolese resident to resident in any CEMAC member country for services rendered.
Following the double tax treaty signed with China, the following rates are applicable:
- Dividends - 5% if the beneficial owner is a company directly holding at least 25% of the paying company's capital; otherwise, 10%
- Interest - 10%
- Royalties – 5%
Payments made by building and public work companies to their sub-contractors
WHT is applicable on payments made by building and public work companies to their sub-contractors, including to engineering offices, at the following rates:
- 3% for sub-contractors taxable on their net profit.
- 10% for sub-contractors taxable on a deemed profit (Régime du forfait).
Non-observances, omissions, or underpayments are sanctioned by an XAF 5 million fine and by the non-deductibility of the amounts so paid. Late payments are sanctioned by a 2% penalty per month or portion of month, with a maximum penalty of 100%.
For the considered sub-contractors, said withholding is considered as an instalment of tax.
Dividends distributed by a Congolese company are subject to a 15% WHT unless a different rate applies under an international tax treaty (e.g. France, Italy, Mauritius, CEMAC, China). The same rate applies for dividends distributed to a resident shareholder.
Under the tax treaties between France and the Republic of Congo and between Italy and the Republic of Congo, the applicable WHT rate is 15%.
Under the tax treaty between Mauritius and the Republic of Congo, the applicable WHT rate is 5%.
There is no specific rate defined in the CEMAC tax treaty.
The Congo-China treaty provides a 5% if the beneficial owner is a company directly holding at least 25% of the paying company's capital, otherwise, 10%.
Attendance fees are subject to a 17% WHT.
Payments to local independent contractors
Payments to local independent contractors (self-employed contractors, i.e. those not registered with the Congolese Trade Registry) are subject to a WHT at the rate of 10% from such payments, to be remitted to the Public Treasury.
Late remittance of the WHT is subject to a late payment penalty of 50% within the first two months and 100% if the late payment exceeds two months.
The application of the 10% WHT also applies to companies regrouping professionals and increases penalties in case of non-payment (200% penalty).
Revenues of legal entities subject to CIT are excluded from the application of the WHT of 10%.
WHT rates summary
|Non-resident corporations and individuals (Non-treaty)||15||20||20|
China 5% (10%) 10% 5%