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  • declaration of existence filed late or not filed – loss of the deduction right for the whole undeclared period and XAF200,000;

  • non-declaration or late declaration of changes in the conditions of conduct of the profession – XAF200,000 per month overdue;

  • late payment of the tax due for a month – 5% per month overdue (or part thereof), with a minimum of 50% of the tax due if the taxpayer has acted in good faith, otherwise 100% of the tax due;

  • monthly return filed after the eight- day formal notice period – 15% of the evaded tax per month (or part thereof) up to a maximum of 50% or XAF200,000 if no tax is due;

  • omission or inadequacy observed in monthly returns – 2% per month with a minimum of 10% and a maximum of 50% of the evaded tax if the taxpayer has acted in good faith, or 100% if the taxpayer has not acted in good faith, or 200% if the taxpayer has acted fraudulently;

  • sales without issuing invoices – 200% of the tax due, 400% of the tax due in case of a second offence;

  • false invoices – 200% of the tax due; the offender is responsible for paying the tax due and the penalty of 200%;

  • failure to reply to requests for clarification or substantiation – automatic taxation, 25% with a minimum of 1% of the revenue earned during the period;

  • failure by automatically liable taxpayers to file a declaration of existence – automatic taxation plus 25%, with a minimum of 1% of the revenue earned during the period;

  • obstruction of a tax audit – automatic taxation;

  • taxpayer’s inability to produce all books, exhibits, documents and supporting items making it possible



to determine the business’s revenue accurately – automatic taxation;

  • failure to translate books or other documents into French is subject to the payment of XAF2 million; and

  • failure to comply with obligations regarding declarations, invoicing or spontaneous payment of VAT is subject to the following penalties after formal notices to comply and pay:

    • seizure;

    • sale;

    • publication of defaulters’ names in a legal notices paper;

    • temporary suspension of the business licence, plus a bar on conducting business during the period;

    • temporary exclusion from public contracts; and

    • closure of the company.

In the event of a repeated offence, the Tax Department can order the taxpayer’s definitive exclusion from public contracts, attachment and a prison term of five to 15 days.


Certain categories of profession and certain types of operation are entitled to refunds, such as oil businesses and exporters of goods.

Objections and appeals

Taxpayers’ monthly returns are audited by employees at the ‘Unité des Grandes Entreprises’ with at least the grade of inspector. These audits, conducted on the basis of documents or on site, may lead to an adjustment. Taxpayers may be represented by a third party, a tax adviser of their choice, at these audits, which can be initiated at any time without notice.

The audit of the returns may lead to a notification of an adjustment by the Department, which must inform the taxpayer, in addition to the errors discovered, of the amount per tax and per year of the duties, taxes and penalties resulting from the proposed adjustments.

Taxpayers who receive an adjustment following an audit have a period of 30 days to make their comments. The Department must give its definitive response on receiving these comments and must provide grounds for any elements that it rejects.

Time limits

The limitation period for rectifying errors and omissions in the tax base is four years from the year for which the tax is due.

The deduction right must be exercised within 12 months following the fiscal year during which the VAT became payable. This 12-month period applies solely to exercising the deduction right and not to VAT credits. Thus, a VAT credit generated during a given month may be off set against the VAT collected in subsequent months without any time limit.

VAT records

Tax invoices

All taxpayers must issue invoices for the goods that they deliver or the services that they provide to another taxpayer and for advances received for the provision of services where tax is payable as a result. Generally speaking, the invoice, written in the French language, should show:

  • the name, address and the single identification number of the taxpayer issuing the invoice;

  • the name, address and the single tax identification number of the customer;

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