Cameroon has implemented a tax on electronic transactions. Enough to fill the state coffers but also to provoke the anger of mobile money users.
Orange Money, MTN MoMo… If the price war is raging, for operators offering money transfers and withdrawals in mobile money, the Cameroonian state has just added its two cents. Because since January 1, a tax of 0,2% has been implemented on electronic transactions.
If the amount of the tax seems minimal, what it could bring back to the State is not negligible… In fact, in 2020, more than 10 billion CFA francs have passed between the various Cameroonian users. The market is monopolized by two operators: MTN and Orange. The French group would hold 000% of the market share.
A measure on the sly
But how did the government manage to impose this tax? According to observers, the measure was passed on the sly, in the middle of the 2022 finance law. "The law was signed on December 16, a week before Christmas, and the tax measure is hidden in the middle of a text of 72 pages ”, indicates Rebecca Enonchong, director of the company AppsTech, quoted by Jeune Afrique.
Like her, several Internet users have launched the hashtag #EndMobileMoneyTax. It is about denouncing the tax on mobile money, but not only. Indeed, believes Rebecca Enonchong on Twitter, "this law concerns all transfers that leave electronic traces except for bank transfers and tax payments". A text which "therefore also concerns Express Union, Western Union, etc." », Summarizes the tech specialist.
On Twitter, audio spaces are multiplying in an attempt to explain the aberration represented by this 0,2% tax.
Yesterday in the #EndMobileMoneyTax space, we had the consensus that the tax there is BS and that we should make better use of current funds ... here are some concrete examples taken from the 2022 budget ie apart from the SNH money that nobody controls ...
- Remi Tassing (@tassingremi) -
A tax which should make it possible to replenish public funds. The enemies of it consider that it is a "tax on the poor". Indeed, the poorest Cameroonians, not necessarily banked, will be taxed where users of checks, transfers or cash will not be. It is also a tax against "innovation", assures Rebecca Enonchong.
Mobile money is just a method of payment.
There is no tax if I pay by check.
No tax if I pay by cash.
There is no tax if I pay by bank transfer.
It is a tax against innovation.
It is a tax against the poor. #EndMobileMoneyTax#WeSayNo
- Rebecca Enonchong (@africatechie) -
Ghana also wants its tax
For the moment, the operators have simply decided to keep their customers informed of the existence of this tax. Other operators are therefore trying to take advantage of this to attract customers, such as Camtel for mobile money, Express Union Finance or EMI Money, a money transfer agency. When some promise to take care of the tax themselves, others offer more affordable price lists.
Still, the tax should, at least in January, be applied, opponents of this measure having failed to discuss with the government authorities. Other countries, such as Ghana, said Jeune Afrique, should also work on such a measure. A tax of 1,75% on payments, fund transfers, bank transfers and electronic merchant payments was mentioned.
But unlike Cameroon, this tax, if it sees the light of day in February, as planned, should be intended for the middle classes: below 100 cedis, or nearly 15 euros, the tax should indeed not be applied.