What regions of the world are the most business-friendly when it comes to corporate taxation policies? A new PricewaterhouseCoopers study, Paying Taxes 2009, benchmarks how 181 countries stack up on three key tax policy-related metrics: 1) The total tax rate, 2) The time taken to comply with tax rules, and 3) The number of required tax payments.
The best performing countries have tax systems with relatively low tax rates and simple, transparent administrative procedures. The study does not include a traditional ranking table, but does measure country performance on many key variables. The US does not put in a stellar performance, ranking 46th in terms of the ease of paying taxes and 92nd on its total tax rate. By way of comparison, other business-friendly economies such as Singapore (ranked #5 on ease of payment and #25 on total tax rate), Hong Kong (ranked #3 on payment ease and #18 on total tax rate) and New Zealand (ranked #12 on payment ease and #60 on tax rates), perform much better on this metric. If we could identify one “star” in this analysis, it might be the tiny Maldives, which takes the top rank on nearly every measure.