Around 80% of the population of Burkina Faso farms enough crops for themselves and their families, with some farmers producing a surplus to sell. A small percentage of Burkinabe people work in industrial or service-based roles, typically in Ouagadougou, Koudougou, Bobo-Dioulasso or Banfora. The largest export of Burkina Faso is gold, making the country the fourth largest producer of the precious metal in Africa. Cotton comes a close second, but both of these exports are subject to fluctuations in value internationally. There is also some manufacturing of food products and textiles. Finance is another sector within the economy, with banking representing around 30% of the GDP for Burkina Faso. Interestingly, only around 26% of the population is estimated to have access to financial services.
Expatriates moving to Burkina Faso for work will need a work permit. This will be obtained through a sponsor (employer), but long term sponsorship is harder to come by. Expatriates working in Burkina Faso on a contractual basis will need to obtain a work permit from each employer that they contract with, which can be painstaking. Umbrella companies exist to ensure that this process is convenient by technically employing expats, but enabling them to work for a number of companies during their stay. There are a number of umbrella companies online offering this sort of service to expats moving to Burkina Faso.
The tax year in Burkina Faso runs from December to December. Expatriates working in Burkina Faso will pay up to 27.5% income tax on any income from industrial, agricultural, commercial or non-commercial sources. There are three rates of tax:
Income from real estate is also taxed at either 18% or 25%, depending on the value of the property. There are double tax treaties in place with a number of countries in Africa and Europe to ensure that expats working in Burkina Faso are not taxed on their income twice. VAT in Burkina Faso stands at 18%.