a number identifying the invoice;
the date of the invoice;
a description and the quantity of the goods or the extent of the services;
the tax rate and the corresponding tax;
the price excluding tax; and
the total amount with taxes included.
The price must be indicated in (XAF) CFA francs. Electronic invoicing is not yet allowed in the Congo.
A service provider who has opted for payment on debits must expressly state this option on the invoice. In addition to these strict VAT obligations, there are other obligations under economic regulations (including the trade register number and bank account number).
Operations performed with non- taxpayers are invoiced at the amount including tax unless they can claim a dispensatory tax system authorising invoicing excluding tax.
Any party entering VAT on an invoice or any equivalent document is liable for the VAT simply as a result of charging it. If the invoice or document does not correspond to the delivery of goods or the provision of a service or refers to a price not actually paid by the purchaser, the VAT is due by the invoicing party.
Credit notes and debit notes
A supplier must issue a credit note or a debit note in the following cases:
if the amount payable for a supply has changed, because the supply is cancelled, the nature of the goods or services has been fundamentally changed or the accepted price has been changed; or
if part of or all the goods are returned to the supplier; and
if a tax invoice has already been issued for the supply, which is now incorrect.
Taxpayers must keep regular accounts, including:
a paginated and initialled journal;
a general ledger;
a purchases journal; and
an inventory book.
The accounts must be available in the Congo, presented in French and made out in CFA francs. Accounting documents and supporting documents for operations performed by the taxpayer must be retained for ten years from being recorded.
Specific VAT rules
Land and buildings
Insofar as transfers of real estate assets are subject to registration duties, VAT is not applied to the sale of a house.
Rental of empty residential houses between individuals, between legal entities and between individuals and legal entities are not subject to VAT.
However, rental of all types of premises for use as commercial, business or residential premises made by real estate professionals and rental of fully fitted premises (e.g. furnished residential premises), regardless who the landlord is, are subject to VAT. In practice, tenancies are subject to VAT if the landlord is already liable for VAT for his/her/its other activities.
VAT applies to rent, rent supplements and advance rent. The deposit is not subject to VAT unless it corresponds to rent paid in advance. Service charges, for which the tenant is billed in addition to the rent, are exempt from VAT if they correspond to simple reimbursement of expenses but are subject to VAT if a flat sum is charged.
Leasing is a service subject to VAT. VAT applies to rent billed by the supplier of such services.
Goods transferred without payment or for payment well below the normal price, apart from low-value goods, do not give an entitlement to deduction. This includes goods transferred as commission, salary, a gratuity or gift, regardless of the capacity of the beneficiary or the form of the transfer.
However, the deduction is allowed for goods of which unit price without taxes does not exceed XAF5,000.
Sales of secondhand fixed assets (whether used by companies for the purposes of their business or not) are not subject to VAT and must therefore be declared as non-taxable operations in the monthly return.
If such goods are sold within three years of their acquisition, the taxpayer must pay an adjustment. As an exception to this rule, all operations carried out by dealers in secondhand goods come within the scope of VAT under ordinary conditions.
Note that the exemption for sales of secondhand goods is not applicable to sales made by professional secondhand traders.