Small Business Taxation in Cameroon – The Discharge Tax

Many small businesses in the informal sector in Cameroon fall under the discharge tax system. Most often taxpayers call it Impôt libératoire (in French) or Global Tax. The discharge tax is paid by those who are engaged in commercial, industrial handicraft or agro-pastoral activities that do not fall under the actual earnings, simplified tax or basic tax regimes exclusive of the payment of business license, personal income tax and VAT.

The annual turn-over of the taxpayer should be less than 10 million francs CFA. Note should be taken that moral persons are not treated under the discharge tax regime no matter their turn-over.

Discharge Tax Rate

The discharge tax rate shall be established by the regional and local authorities who benefit from the proceeds of the tax. The tax is determined by category of activities as follows:

Category Based on Turnover





turn-over less than 2 500 000fcfa

0 to 20 000fcfa


Turnover between 2 500 000 to 5 000 000

20 001 to 40 000fcfa


Turnover between 5 000 000 to 7 500 000

40 001 to 50 000fcfa


Turnover between 7 500 000 to 10 000 000

50 001 to 100 000fcfa

In addition to producers, traders and service providers that fall under category D, the following are also involved:

  • Baby-foot machine operators – less than 10 machines
  • Slot machine operators less than 3 machines
  • Pinball machine operators – less than 5 machines

Discharge Tax Rates for Transporters

The discharge tax rate for transporters have been fixed based on specific thresholds:




0 to 10 000fcfa


10 001 to 20 000fcfa


20 001 to 25 000fcfa


25 001 to 50 000fcfa

Declaration & Payment Modalities

The discharge tax has to be declared and paid within 15 days after the end of each trimester. It is paid per council, per establishment and per the different activities in the case where there are many activities carried on in the same business place.

Recommended Reading: A Preview of Cameroon Tax Administration

Hawkers and Mobile Vendors

In the case of hawkers and mobile vendors who may have to move from one council to another, they shall not be held taxable in a council area for the same activity provided that they show proof of payment in the council of their residence.

This is also applied to commercial bike riders in big cities. However, in certain local councils or municipalities, commercial bike riders are not allowed to carry out business activities outside their councils. If they do, they are charged by the local council for a daily ticket.

Payment & Obligations of the Taxpayer

  • The discharge tax is paid on a quarterly bases within the first 15 days of the end of each quarter. It is paid to the council revenue office of the location of the business or residence of the taxpayer.
  • Taxpayers carrying out activities that are liable to discharge tax are obliged to declare it at taxation service or local council office within 15 days of the start of the activities.
  • In the case where the discharge tax cannot be determined, the activities of every taxpayer that is liable to it are classified under Annex I of Chapter III of the General Tax Code of Cameroon.
  • The taxpayer is issued a tax ticket after payment of the discharge tax signed by the taxation service or the mayor of the council in the case there is no taxation service
  • The taxpayer is obliged to display the tax ticket at the premises backed by a receipt confirming payment without which it is invalid.


  • Failure to display the discharge tax ticket calls for the closure of the business premises and a tax penalty of 5000frs.
  • The business premise(s) shall be closed if the taxpayer fails to pay the discharge tax within the required time-limits. In addition to this, a fine of 30% is added to the tax owed without prejudice to sanctions.
  • If there is positive proof that a taxpayer under the discharge tax system makes a turnover of more than XAF10,000,000, the said taxpayer will be subject to a business license tax either in the simplified or actual earning tax regime.

Is your business not mentioned in the above categories? Download to view the entire list of activities liable to discharge tax.

3 thoughts on “Small Business Taxation in Cameroon – The Discharge Tax

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *