A sworn tax officer has the right to control taxpayers
In Cameroon, the legislation gives the power to control the bases of all taxes payable by taxpayers by sworn tax officers of at least the rank of an inspector. The sworn tax officer does this for all taxpayers whom they inspect.
It should be noted that the legislation gives the State the right to collect taxes, duties, levies, excise duties from business transactions carried out within the borders of Cameroon.
Taxpayers in Cameroon are obliged to pay taxes put at their charge by the legislation. Failure to do so, may lead to a control process by sworn tax officers.
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With this power, comes the power to collect income taxes which is given to the tax administration. It’s not limited to income tax only as they have been empowered to collect value-added tax, property tax and other taxes and levies as provided by legislation.
Rights of the sworn tax officer
A sworn tax officer with at least the rank of an inspector may control the premises used for professional purposes by taxpayers. This may include land, warehouses or even private premises. However, it comes with an authorization from the judge.
Not all tax agents can carry out all types of tax control. There are specific conditions put in place by the legislation that govern tax controls.
The taxpayer has the right to demand identification from the tax officer to make sure (s)he is a sworn tax officer with at least the rank of an inspector. That not withstanding, the tax officer also needs to provide an authorization empowering him or her, issued by the competent authority, to carry out such a control.
Control operations carried out by a sworn tax officer can be done between 8am and 8pm. If it goes beyond this time, an authorization is required for the officer to get access.
During such controls, the administration may make use of protective measures it deems necessary for the control. So as a taxpayer, you should not be surprised if the controller comes in with security officers (police or gendarme).
Once the control is completed, a report has to be made containing all the material facts put together.
The report should be signed by the sworn tax officer and other officers who took part in the control as well as the taxpayer.
Any taxpayer who opposes or evades the right to investigate is liable to sanctions.
Sanctions for non-compliance
Taxpayers are obliged to produce at the request of the tax authorities all requested information or documents necessary for the control. These include accounting records and other backed records.
A fine of up to 5,000,000 (five million) FCFA is applied in case the taxpayer refuses to provide information or documents required by the tax officer, objects to provide the right information or gives false information.
Also, a fine of 100,000 (one hundred thousand) FCFA is applied per day of delay, when it goes beyond the time limit requested by the tax administration.
It’s worthy to note that accounting documents and records shall be kept for up to ten years and can be requested by the tax controller when carrying out a control.
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Source(s): Directorate General of taxation
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This content has been prepared for information purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, accounting or legal advice. You need to consult your own tax, accounting or legal advisors before engaging in any transaction.