Digital transformation of tax process a windfall for Cameroon
The government of Cameroon has attributed a 140% increase in tax revenue between 2010 and 2022 to the digital transformation of its inland revenue collection process.
In 2014 the country’s Director General of Taxation in the Ministry of Finance Modeste Mopa Fatoing implemented an online declaration and payment system for taxes.
The online portal allows people and organisations to make declarations, effect payment through mobile money or wire transfer, as well as secure tax clearance certificates.
Speaking during a consultation meeting with private sector investors in Douala on 13 September, Fatoing said the country had increased tax revenue from 992-billion CFA to 2,384-billion CFC and this was largely thanks to moving the entire tax process – from declaration to payment – online.
Fatoing said, “It is possible to register from your phone or computer, and pay the tax without approaching the tax authorities because there is no longer a counter at the level of the tax administration. Even the various tax certificates can now be acquired online.”
The move to digitise the entire revenue collection process has also reduced the average time spent by citizens in complying with tax revenue collection laws from 600 hours a year to circa 20 hours, according to Fatoing.
Cameroon aims to become an upper middle in country by 2035 and this goal is centred on ICT and telecommunications.
In 2021 the country instituted a 0.2% mobile money tax on transfers and withdrawals. This is expected to raise at least 20-billion CFA francs for the government in the current fiscal year.
In August, President Paul Biya asked the government to consider measures for revenue protection in the preparation of the 2023 state budget. He emphasized the generalisation of e-payment to all enterprises and the establishment of an electronic mechanism for monitoring economic transactions so as to improve consumer tax yield.
Biya also wants the tax administration to finalise the automation of the monitoring of the collection of some taxes such as motor vehicle stamp duty, and looks to pursue the development of the digital economy by strengthening the telecommunications network and infrastructure.