Understanding how Value Added Tax (VAT) is applied in the Democratic Republic of Congo

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Almost unknown in 1960, the value added tax (VAT) is now found in several countries, raises around 20 percent of the world’s tax revenue, and has been the centerpiece of tax reform in many developing countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo. In August 2010, The President of the Republic signed a decree replacing the sales tax “ Impot sur le chiffre d’Affaires” (ICA) with a value-added tax (VAT), which was introduced on January 1, 2012.

Notwithstanding its advantages, it is worth noting that VAT is a considerably complex tax to administer compared with sales tax. With the size of the DRC and the lack of infrastructures, it may be difficult to apply to some companies and other informal businesses due to difficulties of record keeping and its coverage in some areas and services sector may be limited.

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