MTN, Orange, Cameroon govt launch Mobile Tax service
By Issa Sikiti da Silva
The Cameroonian government has launched a new tax service called Mobile Tax, in association with mobile operators MTN and Orange.
The government said the service will help millions of taxpayers in this Central African nation to pay their property taxes via mobile money.
Cameroon has a population of 20 million people, and property tax collection is estimated to reach a mere US$16 million, as millions of property owners are said to be evading this type of tax.
“Cameroon has one of the most inefficient methods of tax collection. Besides, corruption is rife, which lead to the state losing billions of FCFA every year,” ICT teacher Euloge Samba told Biztechafrica.
“This could be some of the reasons why the government has decided to call on the ICTs and partner with MTN and Orange to launch this service. The aim is to restructure the tax system and ensure that every penny coming from this sector reaches the state’s coffers,”
Under the terms of Mobile Tax, taxpayers must, first of all, open an Orange Money account or MTN Mobile Money account before they can be able to use the service. The account will be stored in the state tax department via the MTN and Orange mobile money database.
Cameroon finance minister Alamine Ousmane Mey this week said the service will be available 24 hours a day, and will be deployed in two phases.
In the first phase, Mobile Tax will be exclusively reserved for property tax on real estate properties, the minister said, adding that this is only for landowners who own property in the capital Yaoundé and Douala.
Douala is Cameroon's commercial capital and the country’s second-largest city.
The second phase consists of expanding the range of solutions of tax payment with MTN and Orange partners, Mey said.
This will culminate ultimately to the adaptation of Mobile Tax to all taxes and fees provided for in the General Code of taxes, the minister explained.