Who Is Exempt from Personal Income Tax in Cameroon?

In our previous post, we explained who needs to pay personal income tax in Cameroon. This time, let’s discuss about exemption from this tax and under what conditions.

Who Is Exempt from Personal Income Tax?

According to Section 27 of the tax code, certain individuals are exempt from paying personal income tax in Cameroon. Here’s who qualifies for these exemptions:

Diplomatic and Consular Staff

  1. Heads of Diplomatic Missions and Consuls: Those holding a diplomatic card issued by the Ministry of External Relations. This exemption applies if the countries they represent grant similar benefits to Cameroonian diplomatic and consular personnel. For example, if a French ambassador in Cameroon is exempt from Cameroonian taxes, then the Cameroonian ambassador in France should receive the same exemption.
  2. Diplomatic and Consular Mission Personnel: Staff members of diplomatic and consular missions who hold a diplomatic card are also exempt. Again, this is contingent on reciprocal tax benefits from their home countries for Cameroonian personnel.

International Organizations

  1. Staff of International Organizations: If you work for an international organization and hold diplomatic status, you are exempt from personal income tax in Cameroon. This exemption must be explicitly stated in the organization’s Establishment Convention or headquarters Agreement.
  2. Administrative and Technical Staff: Administrative and technical staff of diplomatic missions, consular posts, and international organizations are exempt if they are subject to income tax in their home countries. For example, if a technical officer from the United Nations is posted in Cameroon but pays taxes in their home country, they will not be taxed by Cameroon.

Specific Activities

  1. Discharge Tax Activities: Individuals exclusively involved in activities subject to discharge tax are exempt from personal income tax. Discharge tax applies to certain professions and activities and is a different form of taxation. For example, if you run a small business that only pays discharge tax, you wouldn’t need to pay personal income tax on that income.

Example

To make this clearer:

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  • If you’re a diplomat from the UK stationed in Cameroon and your country grants similar tax exemptions to Cameroonian diplomats in the UK, you won’t pay personal income tax in Cameroon.
  • If you work for the World Health Organization (WHO) in Cameroon and your diplomatic status is recognized by the organization’s agreement, you are exempt from paying personal income tax here.

Disclaimer

Next Steps

In our next post, we will discuss the place of assessment for personal income tax in Cameroon. Stay tuned!

For professional assistance in company registration, tax declaration, and more, visit OpenHub Consulting. We help start, run, and grow businesses in Cameroon with services like sales and marketing, bookkeeping, and accounting for small businesses.

Have questions? Drop them in the comments or check out our previous post here.


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