UAE Ranks Top as Most Business-friendly Tax Regime

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has the most favourable tax regime for medium-sized businesses, according to a report compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The rankings, based on the time taken to pay taxes, the overall tax rate, and the number of payments medium-sized firms are required to make, calculates the top 20 locations as follows:

  1. United Arab Emirates.
  2. Qatar.
  3. Saudi Arabia.
  4. Hong Kong.
  5. Singapore.
  6. Ireland.
  7. Bahrain.
  8. Canada.
  9. Kiribati.
  10. Oman.
  11. Kuwait.
  12. Mauritius.
  13. Denmark.
  14. Luxembourg.
  15. Malaysia.
  16. UK.
  17. Kazakhstan
  18. Switzerland.
  19. Norway.
  20. Seychelles.

The UK has moved up two places since a similar assessment in 2011, but is still lower than its position of 11th in the 2006 report.

Its improved position since last year largely reflected a reduced rate of corporation tax and increased national insurance (NI) thresholds. A medium-sized UK business has to make eight tax payments a year, compared with a global average of 27.2 and spend 110 hours on tax compliance, compared with 267 hours globally.

PwC’s senior economic adviser, Andrew Sentence, a former member of the Bank of England’s (BoE) monetary policy committee (MPC), comments in the report that a high tax burden can tightly constrict the supply side of the economy, hence slowing down a country’s growth – not that the UK has experienced much in recent years.


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