Individual income taxes are imposed on remuneration paid to an individual by a third party, regardless of whether the individual is engaged under a service agreement with the third party.
Territoriality. Individual income taxes are imposed only on Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)-source income.
Definition of resident. An individual is considered to be resident in the DRC if any of the following circumstances exist:
- An individual regardless of his or her nationality has established in the DRC a real home, effectively and continuously.
- An individual has in the DRC his or her domicile, family, main activity, business headquarters or business.
- The DRC is the usual place from where the individual’s assets and wealth are principally managed.
Income subject to tax. The taxation of various categories of income is described below.
Employment income. Individuals are subject to Impôt professionnel sur les rémunérations (IPR) at progressive rates on employment income, including payments to administrators and managers. The amount of IPR cannot exceed 30% of taxable revenue. The tax base for IPR includes the following:
- Salary and wages
- Allowances that do not correspond to the reimbursement of professional expenses
- Bonuses and other indemnities
- Payments made by the employer in the case of breach of contract (notice allowance), excluding damages
- Benefits in kind at their real value, except for the following: — Legal family allowances (only extra-legal amount is taxable) — Housing allowance, provided the amount of the allowance is
limited to 30% of gross salary
— Transport allowance, provided that the amount of the allowance does not exceed the limit imposed per day
— Medical care, provided that the amount is not overstated
Reimbursements of professional expenses are exempt if all of the following conditions are satisfied:
- They are used in accordance with their nature. The tax administration may require evidence of such use.
- They are not overstated in terms of the employee concerned.
- They relate to the activity of the company.
Investment income. Investment income consists of dividends and other income derived from shares, stock options, debentures or bonds issued by companies resident in the DRC. Investment income is subject to the tax on movable assets at a rate of 20%.
Business and self-employment income. Business and self-employment salary income is subject to IPR at progressive rates, with a maximum rate of 30%.
Directors’ fees. Directors’ fees paid by public limited liability companies registered in the DRC are subject to IPR at progressive rates, with a maximum rate of 30%.
Taxation of employer-provided stock options. Under the DRC tax law, only capital gains and losses realized by persons subject to corporate tax are taxable or deductible.
Capital gains and losses. Under the DRC tax law, only capital gains and losses realized by persons subject to corporate tax are taxable or deductible.
Exempt income. The following types of income are not taxable to individuals in the DRC:
- Pension contributions by law
- Hypothetical tax withholdings
- Housing allowance, for a value not exceeding 30% of gross salary
- Telephone charges (professional use)
- Home leave for assignee and family
- Business trips
- Medical charges
Deductions. Expenses incurred by an individual for medical care for the individual and his or her family are deductible.
Individuals may deduct the following contributions effectively paid to pension funds:
- Contributions by the taxpayer under a pension scheme that is mandatory as a result of an engagement of the employer or a requirement in the work agreement
- Direct contributions to obtain a pension or insurance
Individuals may not claim any other deductions.
Rates. IPR is imposed at progressive tax rates ranging from 0% to 40%. However, the amount of IPR cannot be higher than 30% of taxable revenue. The following are the IPR rates for annual income.
Annual taxable income
|Exceeding||Not exceeding||Tax rate|
The amount of IPR is reduced by an amount of 2% per dependent (limited to nine dependents).
Relief for losses. Individual taxpayers may not claim relief from losses.
Nonresidents. A special tax on expatriates (Impôt Exceptionnel sur les Rémunérations, or IER), payable by entities employing expatriates, is imposed at a rate of 25%. Under Article 260 of the Mining Code, the IER rate is 10% for expatriates employed by mining companies.
IER applies only to income paid to expatriates who are subject to tax in the DRC. Nonresident individuals whose income is not taxable in the DRC because they are in the DRC under a technical services agreement are not subject to IER.
Property tax. Property tax is imposed on real property such as buildings and grounds. The owner of the property is liable for the tax.
The property tax rate varies depending on the nature of the item and the rank of the locality. The owner must sign an annual declaration, which must state all taxable items, to the tax authorities.
Inheritance, estate and gift taxes. The DRC does not impose inheritance, estate or gift taxes.
Tax on vehicles. The tax on vehicles is imposed on all types of vehicles used in the DRC. Owners of vehicles are liable for the tax.
The rate of the tax on vehicles varies each year, and depends on the nature of vehicle and the province. The owners of the vehicles must buy road tax discs (annual license tags) when the tax authorities sell them.
Contributions. Employers and employees must make monthly contributions to the Social Security National Institute (Institut National Sécurité Sociale, or INSS). The following are the rates of the contributions, which are applied to employee wages:
- Employers: 9%
- Employees: 3.5%
Companies are required to register all employees with the INSS and remit both employer and employee contributions.
Employers are also subject to monthly contributions to the National Institute for Professional Preparation (Institut National de Préparation Professionnelle, or INPP). The following are the contribution rates:
- Private companies with 1 to 50 employees: 3%
- Private companies with 51 to 300 employees: 2%
- Private companies with more than 300 employees: 1%
Employers must also pay a National Employment contribution (ONEM) at a rate of 0.2%.
Totalization agreements. The DRC has not entered into any totalization agreements.
Tax filing and payment procedures
IPR, IER and ONEM must be remitted before the 15th day of the month following the month of payment of the salaries.
INPP must be remitted before the 10th day of the month following the month of payment of the salaries.
INSS social contributions must be remitted before the end of the month following the month of payment of the salaries.
Taxpayers registered with the Tax Centre for Large Scale Companies (Direction des Grandes Entreprises, or DGE) must file a single return and make a single payment for the IPR, IER, INSS, INPP and ONEM by the 15th day of the month following the month of payment of the salaries.
Tax on movable assets is due before the 15th day of the month following the month of the payment.
Double taxation relief and tax treaties
The DRC has entered into double tax treaties with Belgium and South Africa.
- Temporary visas
The General Direction of Migration issues temporary work visas. To obtain a temporary work visa, the following documents must be submitted to the Direction:
- Work contract of the expatriate
- Proof of identity of the expatriate
- Identification picture
- Completed form provided by the Direction together with the contract between the DRC company and the foreign company
Work visas and permits
To obtain a work permit, an authorization for a work card from the Labor Ministry is required. The process used to obtain temporary work visas also applies to work visas and work permits.
This process also applies to establishment visas and multiple-entry visas.
Residence visas and permits
The Provincial Home Affairs Ministry issues residence visas (residents’ cards) to expatriates working for DRC companies. These visas have a duration of two years.
Family and personal considerations
Work visas for family members. Dependents of expatriates working in the DRC with a legal work visa must obtain an establishment visa. Under the law, dependents are the spouse and children under the age of 18 of the expatriate working in DRC. However, if a person in the family wants to work in the DRC, he or she must comply with the requirements mentioned in Section G.
Marital property regime. The community property regime applies to the property of spouses, but only to property acquired during the marriage. Property acquired before the marriage is considered the separate property of the respective spouses. Each spouse remains the owner of their separate property.
Driver’s permits. In practice, foreign driver’s licenses may be not used in the DRC.