Are taxes killing entrepreneurship in Cameroon?

One of the cries among businesses in Cameroon is the exorbitant texes they have to cough out each month to the state coffers. Not only do the business men and women not understand how these taxes are calculated but they also complain that there is no grace period from the time you create a company to the the time the company starts making a profit. It is alleged that taxes paid by businesses in Cameroon are far higher than in neighbouring countries and that the tax system has laid to a lot of corruption.

This taxation conundrum has led many businesses to relocate in neighbouring countries like Nigeria while others have been forced to close down althogether. Some others have gone underground prefering the informal sector in order to evade taxes. I last visited a friend who owns a hotel in kumba and he was complaining his taxes were hiked from 200.000 frs he paid last 2 years to almost a million last year. He told me this situation was unbearable for him and he was thinking of converting his hotel into school.

The government has stated that there is no problem with the taxation system and that businessmen were complaining for nothing. They say Cameroonians have the mentality of not paying taxes because they say they do know what the money is used for. Nonetheless, the government has taken some measures to ease the tax burden like creating a one stop shop and simplifying the taxation system. In addition, new tax units have been created to cater for specific businesses.


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