In what could be a strong example of public affairs management, the Cameroon Tax Department has reported significant improvements in revenue collection ever since reforms were introduced to the sector a decade ago.
According to the Directorate General of Taxes (DGI) of the Ministry of Finance (MINFI), tax revenue mobilized on behalf of the central government increased by 140% between 2010 and 2022, rising from CFA F 992 billion to CFA F 2,384 billion (projection).
This corresponds to an increase of CFA F 1,392 billion in absolute value.
These figures were made public on September 13, 2022, in Douala during a meeting between the Director General of Taxes, Modeste Mopa Fatoing, and private businesspersons.
He said the reforms, based on the digitization of the process, also led to significant reductions in the time users take to pay taxes.
“Today, everything is completely done online at the level of large, medium, small and micro enterprises in the regional capitals,” Mopa said.
“It is possible to register from one’s phone or computer and to pay tax without going to the tax office. There is no longer a cashier at the tax office. Even the various tax certificates can now be obtained online,” Mopa said.
He said the time by taxpayers to pay their taxes had dropped from more than 600 hours per year before the reform to less than 20 hours after,” Mopa told delegates to the Douala meeting. This is a reduction of over 96%.
Beyond this simplification of procedures and the considerable reduction of contacts between tax officials and taxpayers-which contacts were marked by corruption, digitization has facilitated payments, which are also more secure. For example, for the 2021 fiscal year, CFA F 10 billion in tax revenue was collected via mobile money from mobile phone operators, or nearly half of the CFA F 25 billion paid by taxpayers at bank counters, according to data from the Ministry of Finance.
To this range of innovations that have improved the collection and security of tax revenues in Cameroon in recent years, there is also the transfer of the collection of certain taxes to companies (airport tax collected by airlines, car tax collected by insurance companies …, etc), and the gradual expansion of the tax base, with the introduction of new taxes.
This is the case, for example, with the introduction of the tax on electronic money transfers, which should generate about CFA F 20 billion in additional revenue for the state in 2022, according to DGI projections.
Despite this rise in revenue, the country’s infrastructure remains largely unattended with the entire road network still largely underdeveloped and most rural roads not passable during the rainy season.