Payment of Land Tax : Penalty Awaits Defaulters

The latest date for the payment of this tax is fixed for September 30, 2017.

Immovable property owners in the country are by dint of the Finance Law supposed to pay annual tax on landed property (piece of land or house). Introduced in the fiscal reforms in 2015 for residents of Yaounde and Douala, the payment of the land tax was extended to the national territory in 2016. The first deadline for payment was fixed for end of March, 2017 and was later pushed forward to June and eventually to September 30, 2017 following the lacklustre attitude of tax payers to respect the deadline. With September 30 deadline around the corner, feet-draggers have barely 48 hours to comply or face the heavy arm of the law. 2017 will mark the beginning of sanctions to defaulters and the end of the amnesty that was granted by the taxation administration. Even though officials of the Directorate General of Taxation contacted on Monday September 25, 2017 did not give figures of what so far has been collected, on grounds that a general evaluation will only be done after the September 30 deadline, sources say the payment so far has not been enthusiastic. Owners of immovable property still shy away from paying this tax which is payable via “Mobile tax” operation. Paying through the mobile phone is an innovation implemented by the taxation department to make the payment easy, and fast). The rate of the tax stands at 0.1 per cent of the total value of the building or piece of land not yet developed. According to statistics from the Directorate General of Taxes, the land tax list of payers in 2015 was 138,510 and 1,163,510 in 2016. The figures are a pointer to the fact that many tax payers are yet to be identified. At a time the State is undergoing financial hardship due to the sharp fall in oil and commodity prices, the government now relies on tax payers to run the State machinery. The situation is even further compounded by the war against Boko Haram terrorist activities in the Far North Region, where the government is not only spending huge sums of money, but is equally losing customs revenue. The protracted socio-economic crisis in the North West and South West Regions is also hampering the economy.

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