Individuals resident in Côte d’Ivoire for tax purposes are subject to tax on their worldwide income from all sources. Individuals who are not resident in Côte d’Ivoire are subject to tax on their Côte d’Ivoire-source income only.
All of the worldwide income earned by individuals resident in Côte d’Ivoire is subject to General Income Tax at progressive tax rates.
In addition to the General Income Tax, certain types of income are subject to an additional tax regime.
Employment income is also subject to the following two tax regimes:
- National Contribution
- Tax on Salaries
Self-employment income is also subject to the Tax on Non-business Income.
A person is considered resident in Côte d’Ivoire for tax purposes if he or she satisfies either of the following conditions:
- The person’s usual residence is a dwelling in Côte d’Ivoire, either as an owner or a tenant with a lease of at least one year, or his or her principal place of residence is in Côte d’Ivoire.
- The person is an employee who, during periods of absence from Côte d’Ivoire, continues to be paid by the employer for which he or she works while in Côte d’Ivoire. The rule is the same for any person who transfers his or her place of residence to Côte d’Ivoire during the year.
A holder of a tourist visa or a short-stay visa is deemed to be a nonresident until one of the preceding conditions is fulfilled.
Tax base for income subject to tax
Employment income. The tax base for employment income for purposes of the National Contribution and the Tax on Salaries equals 80% of all remuneration, allowances and benefits.
The tax base for employment income for purposes of General Income Tax equals 80% of all remuneration, allowances and benefits minus the National Contribution and Tax on Salaries paid.
Benefits in kind, including housing, furniture, energy, water, food and domestic help, are deemed to have a certain value, depending on the benefit. Allowances covering professional expenses (limited to 1/10 of total remuneration) and family allowances are specifically exempt.
Self-employment income. For purpose of the Tax on Non-business Income, the tax base for self-employment income equals the net income from commercial, agricultural and professional activities. The net income is determined after deducting all of the allowable expenses from gross income.
Commercial and agricultural income includes receipts, advances and profits from all relevant sources during the fiscal year, determined under the accrual method.
Professional income equals the difference between income accrued and expenses paid during the fiscal year.
The tax base for self-employment income for purposes of General Income Tax equals 80% of net self-employment income. Any Tax on Non-business Income paid is applied as a credit against the General Income Tax payable on self-employment income.
Nonresident individuals earning a professional (service) income in Côte d’Ivoire are subject to a withholding tax at a flat rate of 20% (this rate may be reduced by a tax treaty).
Investment income. Investment income is subject to both Special Tax on Investment Income (Impôt sur les Revenus des Valeurs Mobilières (IRVM) and General Income Tax.
Dividends and interest income are subject to the IRVM if the payer is resident in Côte d’Ivoire. Certain types of interest are taxable if the beneficiary is resident in Côte d’Ivoire, regardless of the residence of the payer.
The IRVM on investment income is withheld by the payer at the following rates:
- 2%, 10% or 15% for dividends
- 75% to 18% for interest income
- 15% for rental income after a 50% rebate
Directors’ fees are treated as investment income and are subject to the IRVM and the General Income Tax. The IRVM is withheld by the paying company at a rate of 15%.
The net amount of investment income is aggregated with other income in determining General Income Tax, which is imposed at the rates set forth in Rates.
Dividends, interest income and directors’ fees paid to nonresidents are subject to General Income Tax. Any IRVM paid on the dividends, interest or director’s fees is applied as a credit against General Income Tax paid on these types of income. The tax is withheld at source at a rate of 20% from royalties paid from Côte d’Ivoire to nonresidents. If a tax treaty applies, the rate varies from 0% to 10%. No General Income Tax is imposed on these royalties.
Taxation of employer-provided stock options. Employer-provided stock options are not subject to tax at the time of grant, but may be taxed at the time of exercise. The difference between the fair market value of the stock at the time of exercise and the strike price is added to the employee’s monthly compensation for purposes of calculating tax on salary and wages.
Capital gains. One-third of the gain in excess of XOF100,000 derived from the sale of shares is subject to General Income Tax if, during the previous five years, the seller, together with his or her ascendants, descendants and spouse, held more than 25% of the capital stock of the company and if any of those individuals held a post as administrator or manager in the company at any time during the five-year period. Otherwise, tax is not levied on gains from the sale of shares. Gains from the sale of real property are not taxable, unless they are included in commercial, agricultural or professional profits or the sale is by a partnership.
Deductible expenses. Individuals are entitled to deduct the following items:
- Interest on loans and debts.
- Alimony payments.
- Life insurance premiums, within certain limits.
- Donations to sports associations and scientific research organizations, within certain limits.
- The General Income Tax itself. A schedule from the tax administration is used for the direct calculation of the tax.
Personal allowances. Allowances are described in Rates.
Business deductions. Expenses deductible for purposes of Non-business Tax on commercial, professional and agricultural income are those expenses necessary to carry out the activity, including the following:
- Costs of material and stock, as well as additional costs, including freight
- Personnel expenses, including salaries, allowances, benefits, and social and fiscal contributions relating to employment
- Interest on loans
- Provisions for losses and expenses
- The business license duty, payroll taxes and taxes on goods, services and transactions (all taxes accrued and due during the fiscal year)
National Contribution. The rates of the National Contribution range from 0% to 10%. These rates are applied to 80% of the gross salary.
Tax on Salaries. The Tax on Salaries is imposed at a rate of 1.5%, which is applied to 80% of the gross income.
Tax on Non-business Income. Tax on Non-business Income is imposed at a rate of 20% on income derived from commercial, professional and agricultural activities.
Withholding tax is imposed at a rate of 20% on income earned by nonresidents from their professional activities or on royalties received from Côte d’Ivoire.
General Income Tax. General Income Tax is levied at progressive rates, up to a maximum of 60% for wage income and 36% for other types of income.
Income is taxed under a family coefficient system, which adjusts the amount of income subject to the progressive tax rate table according to the number of family members. Taxable income is divided by the applicable number of family allowances, and the final tax liability is calculated by multiplying the tax computed for one allowance by the number of allowances claimed. No more than five allowances may be taken. The following allowances are available.
|Type of allowance||Number of allowances|
|Single, divorced or widowed individuals
with no children
|Married individuals with no children, single or divorced individuals with
|Each additional child||0.5|
The notion of paternal power is eliminated. Females now have the same number of allowances as males.
The following tax rates apply to wage income.
per allowance (XOF)
Exceeding Not exceeding
|Tax on lower
The following tax rates apply to other types of income.
Exceeding Not exceeding
|Tax on lower
No General Income Tax is due on income realized by nonresidents who engage in professional activities or who receive payments of royalties from Côte d’Ivoire.
Relief for losses. In calculating proportional tax, taxable income is computed separately for different categories of revenue. Expenses incurred in creating the income in each category are de ductible only from the income in that category. If the net result is a loss, no proportional tax is payable for that category, but the loss may not offset income from other categories. It may be carried forward as an expense, however, and deducted from income in the same category in the following three years for professional activities, and the following five years for commercial and agricultural activities.
Inheritance and gift taxes
Inheritances and gifts are taxable if the transferred goods are located in Côte d’Ivoire. Inheritance and gift tax rates range from 0% to 45%, depending on the net value of the property and the relationship between the beneficiary and the donor or deceased. Côte d’Ivoire has concluded an estate tax treaty with France.
The social security system covers all people employed in Côte d’Ivoire. Employers with employees performing services in Côte d’Ivoire must register with the Côte d’Ivoire social security organization. Employers withhold contributions from employees’ re mu neration monthly (quarterly if the employer has fewer than 20 employees). The following table sets forth the contribution rates.
|On annual salary (and benefits in kind valued on a deemed basis), up to XOF840,000; paid by the employer||5.75|
|Family allowances||2 to 5|
|Industrial accident insurance contributions
Pension contributions on annual salary (and benefits in kind valued on a deemed basis), up to XOF19,767,780; paid by:
Non-professional illness and unemployment are not covered under social security in Côte d’Ivoire.
Each temporary resident who is allowed to work in Côte d’Ivoire must contribute to the system, with the exception of certain French nationals. French employees sent by their employers to work in Côte d’Ivoire continue to contribute to the French social security system if they are in Côte d’Ivoire for a specific job and for a period not exceeding two years, holidays included.
Coverage of foreign residents who contribute to the system is available only in Côte d’Ivoire and may not be extended to their home countries, except for French workers.
To provide relief from double social security taxes and to assure benefit coverage, Côte d’Ivoire has entered into a totalization agreement with France.
Tax filing and payment procedures
The tax year in Côte d’Ivoire for purposes of General Income Tax is the calendar year. The financial year for income derived from a professional, commercial or agricultural activity is also the calendar year.
Income from a financial year ending with or within the tax year is reported in the General Income Tax return. Individuals must file General Income Tax returns by 1 May. Employees whose proportional tax and General Income Tax are withheld at source by em ployers need not file returns, unless they have other income in specified amounts in addition to their salary, or receive income from more than one employer.
Married persons are taxed separately on employment income and jointly on all other types of income. The income of children up to 21 years of age (27 for students) is also included in joint returns, but minor children may be taxed separately if the head of the household so elects. Married persons may file separately only if they are legally separated or if one spouse is not resident in the household.
For self-employed persons, prepayments of General Income Tax are due by 15 February and 15 May following the end of the tax year. Each payment must equal one-third of the total tax paid the previous year. The remaining amount is payable when the taxpayer receives a tax assessment after the administration examines the return.
Depending on the amount of their business income, individuals with commercial or agricultural income must file their proportional tax returns by end of April. Self-employed individuals must pay their proportional tax in three installments. The first is due by 20 April, the second by 20 July and the third by 20 October. Each of these payments must equal one-third of the total tax due for the year.
Double tax relief and tax treaties
In the absence of treaty relief, foreign taxes paid may be deducted from the related income if the individual is subject to General Income Tax on worldwide income.
Côte d’Ivoire has entered into double tax treaties with Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In addition, Côte d’Ivoire has signed the West African Economic and Monetary Union (Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine, or UEMOA) tax treaty together with Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. With respect to these countries, this tax treaty envisages the abrogation of the following tax treaties:
- The Economic Community of West African States (Communauté Economique des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest, or CEAO) tax treaty (together with Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Togo).
- The Common African and Mauritian Organization (Organisation Commune Africaine et Mauricienne, or OCAM). The OCAM organization has been dissolved. However, Côte d’Ivoire’s tax administration has continued to honor the provisions of the tax treaty, which was signed by Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Congo (Republic of), Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Mauritius, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal and Togo.
The CEAO and OCAM tax treaties no longer apply in Côte d’Ivoire.
Under the treaties, commercial profits are taxable in the treaty country where a foreign firm performs its activities through a permanent establishment. In addition, employment income is taxed in the treaty country where the activity is performed, except in the case of a short assignment.
Nationals of foreign countries must obtain visas to enter Côte d’Ivoire, except for nationals of CEAO countries and countries that have signed an agreement with Côte d’Ivoire. Nationals of the following countries, among others, must obtain a visa to enter Côte d’Ivoire:
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
- United States
Côte d’Ivoire does not have a quota system for immigration. Côte d’Ivoire visa regulations are currently being studied by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Tourist visas, issued in the foreign national’s home country by Côte d’Ivoire embassies or consulates, are granted for recreational purposes. Application for a tourist visa requires submission of the following items:
- A duty stamp, the amount of which depends on the country of origin of the foreign national
- Travel ticket
Short-stay visas (visas on arrival), which are issued by the Ministry of Security, are available for stays in Côte d’Ivoire of less than three months. Short-stay visas do not grant their bearers the right to work in Côte d’Ivoire. To apply for a short-stay visa, the following items must be submitted:
- A copy of the applicant’s passport
- Administrative fees (the amount is set by the Côte d’Ivoire embassy located in the home country of the applicant)
- A typed application addressed to the Director of the National Police
- An identification sheet completed by the applicant
Tourist visas and short-stay visas allow their holders to attend meetings and establish business contacts but do not permit them to undertake employment.
A new procedure for the entry visa is known as the e-visa. An expatriate can enter Côte d’Ivoire by obtaining a visa in the airport on his or her arrival in Côte d’Ivoire.
Work permits and self-employment
Residence permits allow individuals to work in Côte d’Ivoire. Côte d’Ivoire does not impose restrictions on foreign nationals establishing businesses in the country. Foreign nationals may head foreign companies and subsidiaries.
Under Article 11.1 of Ivorian Labor Code, employers that need manpower must provide an offer to the Côte d’Ivoire Labor Office (Agence Emploi Jeunes; the national labor agency) located at the Ministry of Labor, stating the position and job description. This must also be published in a national newspaper or communicated through another method. In the past, this was not required in practice, because of administrative tolerance. However, since 2015, the new Labor Code has made this requirement mandatory.
A work permit is required by law if the assignment is for more than three months.
The employer should apply for a work permit on behalf of the expatriate at the Côte d’Ivoire Labor Office.
Processing times are generally one week from the date of submission of all necessary documents.
The work permit must be obtained before the beginning of the expatriate’s activity in Côte d’Ivoire.
A work card must be obtained within three months after the beginning of employment. The employer should apply for a work card on behalf of the expatriate at the Côte d’Ivoire Labor Office. The following are the required documents:
- Expatriate’s assignment contract in Côte d’Ivoire (which will be used for the preparation of the standard Côte d’Ivoire Labor Office contract)
- The expatriate’s criminal record (police certificate)
- The expatriate’s curriculum vitae
- A current medical report (delivered by a local or foreign physician)
- An identification card or a copy of the expatriate’s passport
- Two identification pictures
Foreign nationals must obtain residence permits that allow them to work in Côte d’Ivoire.
Under a decree issued by the President of Côte d’Ivoire in 2008, nationals from the 15 member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are no longer required to obtain residence permits. Nevertheless, they remain subject to the procedures regarding employment in Côte d’Ivoire (see below).
The Ministry of Security issues residence permits, which are valid for one year and renewable for additional one-year periods. Even individuals who have worked legally in Côte d’Ivoire for several years must renew their residence permits annually.
Residence permits are required for all foreign nationals over 16 years of age who are staying longer than three months in Côte d’Ivoire. A residence permit allows its bearer to transfer his or her permanent residence to Côte d’Ivoire.
A residence permit is the only permit that allows a foreign national to work in Côte d’Ivoire. A foreign national may not work until he or she obtains a residence permit; however, a foreign national who has sent his or her application to the Ministry of Security for a residence permit is immediately issued a receipt that serves as a temporary residence permit until the actual permit is delivered. Consequently, the foreign national may begin to work as soon as he or she receives this receipt. Holders of residence permits may change employers.
Application for a residence permit requires submission of the following items:
- A copy of the applicant’s passport
- Two identification pictures on white background
- A rent, electricity or gas bill
- A duty stamp in the amount of XOF5,000
Applicants who will be employed in Côte d’Ivoire must submit the following additional documents to obtain a residence permit:
- An expatriate employment contract approved by the Côte d’Ivoire Labor Office. To obtain Côte d’Ivoire Labor Office’s approval, the employee must produce four copies of the employment contract written on special forms, a medical certificate issued by an accredited doctor and a report of any criminal record dated no earlier than three months before date of the application.
- A worker’s certificate filed by the employer.
Applicants for Côte d’Ivoire Labor Office’s approval are subject to variable fees. These fees depend on the applicant’s home country, the position to which he or she is appointed and the type of employment contract.
Applicants for residence permits who are self-employed or sole proprietors must file a copy of the statutes of the company, a copy of the registration with the Trade Register, a copy of the commencement of business with the tax administration and a copy of the certificate of non-liability of taxes.
Spouses of applicants for residence permits must present a co habitation certificate or a wedding certificate.
Applicants who are students must present attestations of attendance at school.
An exit visa allows the resident foreign national to leave and re-enter Côte d’Ivoire. Applicants for exit visas must present the following items:
- A typed application addressed to the Director of the National Police
- A copy of the residence permit
- An exit visa application
- Two photos
- A duty stamp in the amount of XOF20,000
Family and personal considerations
Family members. Family members of foreign executives are granted no special privileges with respect to the right to work in Côte d’Ivoire. For residence permit requirements, see Section H.
Marital property regime. Couples who marry in Côte d’Ivoire may elect a community property or separate property regime to apply to their marital property. Community property is the default regime. A couple married abroad is subject to the laws of the country where the marriage was solemnized.
Forced heirship. Under the forced heirship rules in effect in Côte d’Ivoire, children and grandchildren are entitled to inherit equal parts of an estate. If no children or grandchildren survive, siblings, nieces and nephews are entitled to inherit one-half of the estate.
Driver’s permits. Foreign nationals may not drive legally in Côte d’Ivoire using their home country driver’s licenses. Côte d’Ivoire does not have driver’s license reciprocity with other countries.
To obtain a driver’s license in Côte d’Ivoire, a foreign national already possessing a driver’s license from his or her home country may apply for a foreign driver’s license (permis de conduire étranger), which requires the temporary surrender of the home country driv er’s license.
A foreign national who does not possess a driver’s license from his or her home country must take a written exam and a practical exam.
An applicant for a foreign driver’s license must present the following items:
- Original home-country driver’s license, accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by the home-country embassy
- A photocopy of the front and back of the home-country driver’s license
- A photocopy of the applicant’s residence permit
- A duty stamp of XOF500
- Administration fees of XOF88,000
- A certification of the authenticity of the driver’s license, which is provided by the home-country consulate