By Augustine Nyuykongi
Cameroonians were awoken to a rather unpleasant surprise as the state informed Cameroonians a 0.2% tax was going to be added on all Mobile Money transactions henceforth.
The information was disseminated to Cameroonians via text messages by Mobile Money operators.
“Dear valued client, in application of the Finance Law, starting 01 January 2022, a 0,2% tax is applied to transfer and withdrawals. Thanks for your understanding,” the message read.
The imposed tax was introduced in the 2022 budget adopted by the National Assembly in 2021.
The tax will be collected by financial companies and mobile telephony operators and transferred into the public treasury by the 25th of every month.
The new tax has received a wide backlash from Cameroonians on social media. Popular Cameroonian Tech Entrepreneur Rebecca Enonchong called for an end to the mobile money tax on twitter. “This tax is regressive and will slow financial inclusion. #EndMobileMoneyTax. #WeSayNo,” she tweeted.
The tech entrepreneur also bashed the application of this tax system and predicted that as soon as it stayed, it could increase. “Today we’re at .2% but as long as the tax exists, the percentage can easily increase. When the debate shifts to the percentage and not the tax itself, they’ve already won.” Rebecca Enonchong said in another tweet.
Several Cameroonians have expressed their discontent with the imposed tax. Added to the already exorbitant withdrawal charges, some have suggested mobile money operators reduce these charges else they risk losing subscribers. “Here is my proposal to you please reduce the charges you levy on all mobile money transactions that is withdrawal and sending,” a mobile money user suggested.
Another user urged Cameroonians to protest by unfollowing telcommunications companies on all social media platforms.
“You’re frustrated at the MOMO tax but you cannot plan a massive unfollowing of Telco’s across all social media platforms. We know it is forced upon them but they can influence the repel,” he tweeted.
In November 2021, the Association of Cameroonian Taxpayers (ACDC) in a release, denounced the tax when it was presented in the 2022 draft Budget at the National Assembly.
“Tax principles state that when an operation is already taxed, no additional tax should be applied. Money transfers are already subjected to the Value added Tax (VAT). We ask the parliament to reject this draft law,” Mazou Mouliom, chairman of the ACDC wrote.