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BASIC COUNTRY FACTS

The Republic of the Congo

Brazzaville

  • French
  • Kituba
  • Kikongo
  • Lingala

5.244 million

Central African CFA franc

.cd

+242

Central African CFA franc

STATUTORY LABOR REQUIREMENTS

Probation Period

  • Probation period cannot exceed 6 months

Annual Leave

  • The duration of annual leave has to be of at least one day for every month of effective service, for worker over the age of 18. 
  • It shall be of at least one and a half day for workers under the age of 18. 
  • It shall be increased of one day per month every 5 years of seniority in the same employer or replaced employer.

Public Holidays

  1. New Year's Day (1st January)
  2. Easter Monday (13th April)
  3. Labor Day (1st May)
  4. Ascension Day (21st May)
  5. Ascension Day (1st June)
  6. Reconciliation Day (10th June)
  7. National Day of Congo (15th August)
  8. All Saints' Day (1st November)
  9. Christmas Day (25th December)

Maternity Leave

  • Female employees should receive a minimum of 14 weeks of maternity leave at 67% of their normal wage after working six months for their company.

Sick Leave

  • There is no statutory sick leave, but some employers grant some days of paid sick leave.

Work Hours

  • In every public or private establishment, even those directed to education or charity, the legal working time of employees and workers, of whichever sex, no matter the nature of the work, cannot exceed 45 hours per week and 9 hours per day.

Overtime

  • Every hour considered overtime on the terms of the preceding articles, entitle the worker to the following compensation:
    • 30% increase for the first 6 hours after the legal working time limit;
    • 60% increase for subsequent hours;
    • 100% increase for overtime work performed on weekly rest day.

Notice Period

  • Unless the parties or the collective agreement stipulate a longer period, the notice period is equal to 14 working days as from the day after the notification, where the notice is given by the employer. 
  • This period is increased by seven working days per full year of continuous service, counted from date to date.

Severance

  • There is no statutory severance pay

INCOME TAX

  • The Republic of Congo taxes its residents on their worldwide income and taxes non-residents on their Congolese income.
  • An individual domiciled in the Republic of Congo, whether of Congolese or foreign nationality, is liable for PIT on one’s worldwide income. 
  • Tax treaties may exempt specific types of foreign-source income from Congolese PIT, but the exempt income is still taken into account in determining the effective rate of Congolese tax payable on the individual's taxable income. 
  • Tax is also levied on some capital gains.
  • An individual who is not domiciled in the Republic of Congo is liable for Congolese tax only on income from Congolese sources (including income attributed to the Republic of Congo by a tax treaty) and on capital gains from the disposal of certain assets.
  • PIT rates are fixed at the end of the year to which they relate. 
  • The rates are applied progressively in that they increase with the taxpayer's taxable income. 
  • Generally, the PIT rates are the same for domiciled and non-domiciled individuals. 
  • However, a tax rate of 20% is imposed on non-commercial income of a non-domiciled individual.
  • A tax rate of 20% is also imposed on salaries for duties performed in the Republic of Congo by foreign employees seconded to work in the Republic of Congo for limited periods.
  • The rates for the tax year as reformed in the Finance Act of 2014 are as follows:

Taxable income (XAF)

Rate applicable to income band (%)

Over

Not over

0

464,000

1

464,000

1,000,000

10

1,000,000

3,000,000

25

3,000,000

 

40

DEDUCTIBLE EXPENSES

Employment Expenses

  • The following items are deductible in computing taxable income from employment:
    • Social security contributions.
    • A standard deduction of 20% of salary income after the above contribution.

Personal Deductions

  • Alimony payments are allowed as deductions from taxable income.
  • Interest on loans contracted for the construction and purchase of real estate where the owner reserves the possession for one’s self (principal residence of the taxpayer) is deductible. 
  • The deduction is limited to the six first annual repayments, up to XAF 1 million per annum.
  • Mandatory and free annuities in arrears are deductible from taxable income.
  • Medical fees incurred by the taxpayer and dependents are deductible, with the exception of medical care expenses, prostheses, hospitalization, and pharmaceutical expenses, at up to 10% of net income and up to XAF 200,000 maximum.

Deductible Expenses

Employment Expenses

  • The following items are deductible in computing taxable income from employment:
  • Social security contributions.
  • A standard deduction of 20% of salary income after the above contribution.

Personal deductions

  • Alimony payments are allowed as deductions from taxable income.
  • Interest on loans contracted for the construction and purchase of real estate where the owner reserves the possession for one’s self (principal residence of the taxpayer) is deductible. 
  • The deduction is limited to the six first annual repayments, up to XAF 1 million per annum.
  • Mandatory and free annuities in arrears are deductible from taxable income.
  • Medical fees incurred by the taxpayer and dependents are deductible, with the exception of medical care expenses, prostheses, hospitalization, and pharmaceutical expenses, at up to 10% of net income and up to XAF 200,000 maximum.

IMMIGRATION 

  • Foreigners who have expired visas, who want to enter the country for the first time, or who have visas that were canceled when they left the country, must apply for 15-day visas at a Congolese embassy or consulate before entering the Republic of Congo. 
  • During this 15-day period, the foreigner can apply for a three-month visa. 
  • This visa may be obtained from the General Director of Immigration in Brazzaville or from the department director of immigration in Pointe-Noire. 
  • To obtain a three-month visa, an applicant must submit the following documents:
    • Receipt for the temporary work permit
    • Valid passport 
    • Four identity pictures 
    • Employer testimony
  • A nonresident also needs a temporary work permit to work legally in the Republic of Congo. 
  • To obtain a temporary work permit, the applicant must submit the following documents: 
    • Valid passport 
    • Two identity pictures 
    • Copy of the entry visa 
    • An information form 
    • A job analysis 
  • For workers, an attestation of employment or an acknowledgement of receipt of the request for employment must be added to the permit application file.

Type of Visa/Permit

Documentation

Validity

Eligibility

Visitor Visa

  • Receipt for the temporary work permit
  • Valid passport 
  • Four identity pictures 
  • Employer testimony

3 months                                                                               

  • Foreigners who want to visit the Republic of Congo for a short stay must obtain a visitor’s visa

Work Permit

  • Valid passport 
  • Two identity pictures 
  • Copy of the entry visa 
  • An information form 
  • A job analysis 

2 years

  • Foreigners seeking employment in the Republic of Congo must obtain a temporary work permit

 VALUE ADDED TAX

  • The Congolese VAT rate is 18%.

VAT

Standard Rate

18%

 

WITHHOLDING TAX

  • The WHT rates on various types of payment are set out below. 
  • The tax is a final tax for non-residents and the rate may be reduced under an applicable tax treaty.

Payment

Residents

Non-residents

Dividends

15%

15%

Interest

-

0%/20%

Royalties

-

20%

Technical service fees

-

5.75%/20%

TERMINATION

  • Unless the parties or the collective agreement stipulate a longer period, the notice period is equal to 14 working days as from the day after the notification, where the notice is given by the employer. 
  • This period is increased by seven working days per full year of continuous service, counted from date to date.
  • There is no statutory severance pay

STATUTORY BENEFITS

  • These are mandatory benefits as postulated by law
  • These include probationary period, annual leave, public holidays, sick leave, maternity leave, overtime pay, notice period, and severance pay
  • Statutory benefits also include social security benefits

Statutory Benefits

Probationary Period

Annual Leave

Public Holidays

Maternity Leave

Sick Leave

Overtime Pay

Notice Period

Severance Pay

Social Security Benefits

 PAYMENTS AND INVOICING

  • PIT is assessed on the income earned during a calendar year, except that income derived from carrying on a business is assessed on the results for the accounting year ending within that calendar year.
  • Every individual liable for income tax is required to complete a tax return based on the year's income and file it by 1 March following the end of that year.
  • Income tax is generally withheld from salaries under the pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) system. Income from most other Congolese sources is received after the savings-rate tax has been deducted.

 EASE OF DOING BUSINESS 

  • The ease of doing business index is an index created by Simeon Djankov, an economist at the Central and Eastern Europe sector of the World Bank Group.
  • Higher rankings (a low numerical value) indicate better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses and stronger protections of property rights.
  • According to the World Bank Republic of Congo ranked 180th in the World in 2019 in terms of ease of doing business.

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