Application for registration
If one of the liability thresholds is reached during the financial year or is envisaged for future years in the case of new businesses, the parties concerned are obliged to carry out all the administrative registration formalities at the ‘Unité des Grandes Entreprises’ in order to comply with the statutory provisions.
The main formalities, which must be performed within a fortnight of exceeding the threshold or of the start of the activity, are drawing up and filing a declaration of existence and applying for VAT liability.
This application, made on a form provided by the tax department, accompanies the declaration of existence and application for VAT liability (companies or individuals). The VAT department acknowledges receipt of the application, issues a registration certificate making the party liable for VAT and allocates a tax identification single number (NIU) to the taxpayer.
New taxpayers undertaking a commercial activity in the Republic of Congo are required to apply for an Identification Number (ID number). This reference must be mentioned on all invoices and on documentation provided to the Tax Administration.
Failure to get this ID number results in the company not being entitled to deduct the VAT paid to its suppliers, to proceed with the clearance at the customs house or to receive payment from the Tax Administration.
In order to obtain this Tax Identification Number, the company has to pay a legal fee amounting to XAF10,000.
All taxpayers must inform the Tax Administration about the termination of their businesses. As there is no
standard form, this declaration must be made on plain paper by the taxpayer within ten days of the event concerned in the case of individuals and three months in the case of entities.
In practice, suppliers of goods and services show prices excluding VAT. They must add VAT to their net prices. They must record this output VAT for goods on the date their invoices are issued and for services on the date they receive payment. The amount of VAT is determined by applying the rates to the net selling price of goods and/or services, excluding the tax itself.
Exemptions and zero-rating
The exemption is automatic in (inter alia) the following cases:
sales of products coming under farmers’, fishermen’s, breeders’ and hunters’ activities;
social, educational, sports, cultural, philanthropic or religious operations conducted for their members by organisations operating in a non-competitive sector, not for profit, and that are managed on a voluntary and disinterested basis;
operations involving stamps (revenue and postage) or the issue of banknotes;
imports of certain exempt goods;
services covered by the legal conduct of the medical and paramedical professions;
school exercise books and textbooks;
certain agricultural and plant fertilisers; and
monies paid by the Treasury to the Central Bank, which has the exclusive issuing right, and income from the Bank’s operations, generating the issue of banknotes.
The following operations, which are subject to specific taxation, are exempt from VAT:
sales of mining products;
operations connected with insurance and reinsurance policies and services relating thereto performed by brokers and other insurance intermediaries;
transfers of property assets subject to registration duties;
interest on loans made abroad and on nonprofessional bank accounts; and
random games and entertainment.
Congolese oil companies do not have to pay VAT on the operations that they carry on with certain of their oil sub- contractors. However, this exemption only covers:
operations linked with oil activity;
oil subcontractors approved by the Tax Administration; and
operations carried out with oil companies or between approved subcontractors. In return, the latter are entitled to reimbursement of the VAT that they have paid for exempt operations.
Provided that the oil company lists the foreign contractor as an oil services contractor, the latter will benefit from an exemption from VAT for deliveries of goods and services related to the oil industry.
For deliveries of goods and services that are not related to the oil activity, the foreign contractor shall pay VAT to