Many entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector in Cameroon are unable to state which tax they are required to pay.
Some ignorantly believe the they ought not to pay any tax on their profits. But tax officials quote numerous taxes in each year’s financial law to support , sometimes the huge sums of money demanded as taxes from some of these small agricultural set ups.
It is common now to get farmers or breeders calling for rescue from tax officials around the country. Frankly the State needs money; councils too need money for development projects. Every citizen has to contribute; including farmers, herders, fish farmers, organized and unorganized fish hunters but this must be proportionate to their income as stipulated by the financial law which sometimes is subject to outright misinterpretation by some unscrupulous tax agents for personal gains.
Agricultural cooperatives benefit from certain exoneration on production, at the market level they are placed in the same line with profit-making structures by the tax law. The list of taxes by some officials is heart breaking and discouraging to entrepreneurs.
The need for tax consultants
Once a promoter is not versed with the tax policy, there is the need to work with a consultant who will advise the promoter on which taxes to pay.
To some consultants, every business promoter is supposed to declare the business with taxation, keep records be it agricultural or whatever business or suffer the inconvenience of being arbitrarily charged by tax officials. It is from the records that tax agents will assess the businesses. Some tax agents take advantage to coerce the promoters to pay them off so that they turn a blind eye.
Speaking to TFV, Ndip Andrew who transforms cocoa said the taxes are too many and very complicated to understand, giving room for tax agents to coerce business promoters to bribe them.
Tax categories in Cameroon
It is based on turnover, that is, all sales made during the year. To be considered in this category, annual sales of products of more than 10 million francs CFA must be declared.
It is payable by all those who sell less than 10 million francs CFA per year. There are 4 categories of taxes grouped under categories A, B, C, D. The respective amounts of 20,000, 40,000, 50,000 and 100,000 francs CFA per year are set according to the smallest turnover to the largest reported by the taxpayer.
Other fees, charges or taxe
– Sanitary and veterinary inspection fee, – Exploitation tax, – Slaughtering tax, – Fisheries resource exploitation tax,- Underwater fishing tax, – Approval fee for industrial fishing, – Tax on mariculture and fish farming, – Municipal tax on livestock, – Transhumance tax – Local development tax (TDL) etc.
With all these categories it is difficult for any farmer to claim that farmers are not supposed to pay. The problem remains the extortion of money for personal motives by many tax collectors.
Marie Pauline Voufou, Bangsi Daniel Song