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Gabon: 2012 Tax Incentives

(Apr. 5, 2012) On January 2, 2012, the President of Gabon promulgated Decree No. 0001 on the Finance Law for 2012. Tax incentives under the new Law apply to cement production and to the wood industry. (Albert Atangana, Gabon: Finance Law 2012 – Details, TAX NEWS SERVICE (Apr. 2, 2012), International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation online subscription database.)

Companies in the cement production sector will enjoy:

  • a seven-year period of exemption from corporate income tax;
  • reduction of the withholding tax rate from the standard 15% rate to 10% on distribution of dividends and interest payments;
  • full deduction of interest incurred for business purposes;
  • a seven-year period of exemption from VAT on certain operating expenses; and
  • possible refunds of input VAT on equipment used for business purposes. (Id.)

Benefits for companies engaged in the wood industry include:

  • a five-year period of exemption from corporate income tax and from the minimum lump-sum tax;
  • a five-year period of exemption from withholding tax on distribution of dividends and interest payments;
  • application of the declining balance depreciation method for certain equipment; and
  • creation of a special renewal reserve for certain equipment. (Id.)

In addition, the Law applies a reduced 5% customs duty rate on imports of personal computers and a registration duty of 1% on the contribution in kind upon a company's formation or increase of share capital. The Law also requires that oil subcontractors keep their local accounts under the OHADA Simplified Accounting Standards (Systéme Comptable Allégé). The above provisions apply from January 1, 2012. (Id.; for an overview of taxation in Gabon, see, for example, Gabon Highlights 2012, DELOITTE (last visited Apr. 3, 2012).)

OHADA is the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Legislation in Africa (L'Organisation pour l'Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires). (OHADA (last visited Apr. 2, 2012); Accueil, OHADA website (last visited Apr. 2, 2012); OHADA, under “Glossary,” in Action Plan Developed by Ordre des Experts Comptables et Comptables Agréés de Côte d'Ivoire, at2 (Dec. 2010), IFAC [International Federation of Accountants].)