The 2022 Finance Lawcontinues to stir up controversy. Article 93 on the taxation of the gainful activities of associations of any kind, and the tax on transactions involving the transfer or withdrawal of money, are particularly put on the index. This is tax harassment.
A few months ago, the Inter-Employers' Group of Cameroon (Gicam) organized in Yaoundé, a debate on taxation. It showed that the confidence pact between the State and the private sector had been broken.
The tax collection architecture in Cameroon has seen a marked improvement. The introduction of VAT, which is an indirect tax levied on the activities of consumption of goods and services, marked a break with the images of another age of gendarmes and other officials at the collection of the withholding tax. The General Tax Code in force, however, maintains the withholding tax on activities in the informal sector alongside an income tax.
The Cameroonian state, it is known, is going through a bad time. We must continue to pay the salaries of civil servants and other public officials, face the health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and the various war fronts in NOSO and the Far North. It is therefore understandable that tax experts explore all niches capable of providing liquidity in the pocket of State revenues.
The tax must provide the citizen with basic social infrastructure. While the ordinary citizen lives on expedients, the lifestyle of the state is expensive. Between fuel vouchers distributed to boyfriends, telephone fees, real estate and furniture recycled in the black market and other sumptuous expenses, the State is leading the way. The government is overbloated. The current budget has nevertheless found the luxury of devoting more than 120 billion CFA francs to managed allocation accounts at the head of the client. And all this to outright make tax harassment.
Without any health coverage, these unbearable images of women sequestered after giving birth in public hospitals where huge sums paid to [primary school despite the slogan of its free, demonstrate the deficit of social justice.
In such a context where the minimum wage is 36,000 CFA francs, and where citizens develop resilience capacities, in savings and solidarity, taxing the operations of transfer or withdrawal of money and the lucrative activities of associations of all kinds including tontines, churches and others, amounts to increasing the tax burden on low-income and other non-ranked.
Regarding transfers and withdrawals of money, the Finance Law specifies in its article 228 quinquies that the tax is assessed at the rate of 0.2% of the amount transferred or withdrawn".
Article 93 specifies that: "Income tax is levied at a preferential rate of 15%, increased by 10% in respect of additional municipal cents, on the share of commercial activities of non-profit organizations"
The Ohada Code, taxes all commercial activities. The state is therefore in its role. But we need a tax with a human face. We could have broadened the tax base by taking from large bank accounts, large fortunes, plane tickets, land titles… Decidedly, the technostructure protects itself. It closes its eye on all these potential niches of money, while subjecting the little resourceful to asphyxiation under the blows of an unsustainable tax pressure. And that's tax harassment.
The New Expression