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VAT was introduced in Cameroon by the Law of Finance No 98/009 of 1 July 1998 to replace the Turnover Tax (TOT). The VAT authority in Cameroon is the General Directorate of Taxation.

Rates and scope


The standard or general VAT rate is 17.5%, unless the zero rate (0%) applies.

However, the standard VAT rate effectively increases up to 19.25% due to the application of additional council taxes.


The following transactions are subject to VAT:

  • supply of goods, i.e. the transfer of power to dispose of tangible property as owner, even if such transfer is effected at the behest of a public authority, exchanges, assets brought into business and hire purchase sales;

  • supply of goods to oneself,

    • i.

      e. transactions carried out by taxpayers either for the benefit of their enterprise or for other professional needs, excluding supplies made for the normal needs of the manager of a private enterprise for himself and supplies made to himself by any group for the personal needs of its members, where such supplies concern premises constituting the main place of residence;

  • provision of services to third parties,

    • i.

      e. all activities relating to industry rental contracts or work contracts by which a person undertakes

to perform a given job in return for payment and, generally, all transactions other than supplies of tangible property;

  • services rendered to oneself shall mean services performed by taxpayers to satisfy either the needs of their enterprise or other needs related to their normal professional activities;

  • transactions related to the importation of goods;

  • real estate activities and transactions of any kind carried out by real estate developers;

  • sales of secondhand articles and materials by professionals;

  • transfers of assets that are not exempt;

  • transactions carried out by enterprises approved under the Free Zone regime;

  • sales of petroleum products imported or produced in Cameroon; or

  • games of chance and games of


Taxable operations include transactions carried out within the context of an economic activity against payment. An economic activity means all activities relating to production, importation, provision of services and distribution, including mining activities, agriculture, agro-industry, forestry, handicraft and activities of liberal or related professions.

The following supplies fall outside the scope of the VAT system:

  • discounts, rebates and commissions, provided that they appear on an initial invoice or on a rectified bill;

  • free distribution of goods for advertising or sales promotion purposes;

  • disbursements that are merely refunds to the buyer or customer of the exact amount invoiced; and

  • cash receipts, such as interest in arrears or damages for non- performance of contract terms, which are not payments for any business transaction.

VAT registration

Compulsory registration

Any natural person or corporate body that is liable, as a statutory taxpayer, for the payment of a tax, duty or levy provided for in the General Tax Code, must file an application for registration with the competent tax authority of this area, within 15 days following the start of his activities, and attach to such application a site plan.

The persons liable for VAT are as follows:

  • natural persons or corporate bodies, including regional authorities and bodies governed by public law, which automatically, habitually or occasionally carry out taxable transactions;

  • natural persons are liable for VAT regardless of their status, their situation in relation to other taxes and the nature or form of their activities; and

  • natural persons are liable only where they realise a minimum annual turnover of 15 million francs.

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