Pape Assane Camara, 66, retired, was an executive for twenty-three years in a Dakar-based multinational agribusiness. He receives a pension equivalent to 300 euros per month. When he has finished paying for his electricity, water and food, he has nothing left. However, he has three dependent children who live with him and who are still studying. He is lucky to own his house in Guédiawaye. Like many retirees, he has built a floor where he lives so he can rent the ground floor of his apartment. These rents, ranging between 450 and 900 euros depending on the district, constitute appreciable “retirement pensions”, comparable to an executive salary.
Obviously, there is no question of sharing these complements with taxes. But the Senegalese tax authorities do not hear it that way and have decided to recover their share. Tax officers are working hard in 2022, criss-crossing neighborhoods and knocking on doors to check who is renting and who is renting. In order to ask them to comply with the law.
“Any rental contract for real estate must be registered with the collection office of the territorially competent tax services center within one month of the signing of the act”, stipulates the Senegalese tax code. . Failing to respect this deadline, one incurs penalties of 5000 F CFA per month of overrun. The owners of rental properties, often retired, worked hard to own them: they had to take out bank loans, repaid over twenty, fifteen or ten years. An effort for which they had to tighten their belts, so they take a dim view of the aims of the State on their rents.
African pension systems: “The later the reforms come, the more violent they will be”
What is only a fair return of things? Indeed, nothing, or very little, is really done to ensure them a decent retirement. The minimum old age is set at 35,000 CFA francs (i.e. 54 euros). This is how, during the unexpected visit of a tax official, these retired landlords use all possible stratagems to make their tenant pass for a member of their family. hosted graciously. This saves them from having to declare and register any rental contract.
For this, they found the parade. They present a water bill and an electricity receipt in their name but for the rented accommodation. Indeed, retired owners, cautious, often take these water and energy subscriptions themselves, from their rented premises. This has the advantage of preventing them from having a tenant who vacates the premises leave without paying the bills. So they have control.
nephew of circumstance
With the sudden awakening of taxes, these subscriptions find a second use. All the landlords have to do is ask the tax agent to come back the next day and then receive him in the very accommodation of the tenant, who the day before has become a “nephew” or “niece” by circumstance, after the person has been put in the confidence of this fraud altogether excusable.
New youth for African pension funds
Broadening the tax base is still a long way. Retired owners are prepared not to make it easier. If, under other skies, one could say that “old age is a shipwreck”, in Senegal, one affirms that “the old age is an exempt nobility of homework”.