While doing business in Cameroon, you need to avoid conflicts with your customers and the tax authorities. One of such conflicts to be avoided is making an error-free invoice. That’s why I wish to share with you the required components for a proper invoice in Cameroon.
With proper, I mean the one needed for taxation and accounting purposes. Invoices are subject to strict regulations put in place by the tax authorities in Cameroon and may not qualify for tax deductions if the regulations are not respected.
For a commercial document to be recognized as a proper invoice in Cameroon, the following is mandatory:
It is obligatory for the tax identification number (single identification number) to be mentioned in all documents showing a business transaction has been carried out.
The taxpayer identification number can now be obtained for free at the tax department’s website. I will share with you next week how to get a free tax identification number in Cameroon.
As for value-added tax, to make a proper invoice, it’s required for the taxpayer who is liable to collect VAT to mention it in the invoice. This means, VAT-liable taxpayers are, in addition to the above, required to include the VAT-exclusive total and the VAT-inclusive total in the invoice.
An invoice number may not be mandatory in a proper invoice in Cameroon, but it’s very necessary to keep and track records. It also helps you to avoid issues with missing documentation for your accounting as well as the tax office.
It’s important for you to make your invoice number follow a consecutive sequence. For example Invoice number: OD-220620-0012.
In the above number, OD stands for OpenHub Digital, the 220620 is the invoice date (22 June 2020) and 0012 is the consecutive invoice number. This means the next suffix for the consecutive invoice number will be 0013.
As per tax regulation, accounting documents have a life span of 10 years from the day it was entered into the records. This means each taxpayer is required to keep tax-related records for as long as they are applicable – 10 years as required by the tax administration.
It’s important for taxpayers to keep these documents even if they have already filed for their tax returns. This will be of help and used as reference if questions of proof come up one day.