By Rob Starr, Content Manager, Big4.com
A new report from the World Bank, IFC, and PwC finds that governments continue to reform their tax systems despite global economic uncertainty, with 31 economies having taken steps from June last year through May 2012 to make it easier and cost less for small and medium businesses to pay taxes. The Paying Taxes 2013 study looks at tax regimes in 185 economies and finds that the most common tax reform is the introduction or improvement of online systems for tax compliance, which occurred in 16 economies.
The report finds that on average a medium company pays a Total Tax Rate of 44.7 percent of profits, making 27.2 payments, and spending 267 hours to comply with its tax requirements. In the eight years since the study began, the time to comply has fallen by 54 hours, almost seven working days, and the number of payments has declined by more than six, while the Total Tax Rate has fallen nearly 1 percent for each year.
Reforms continue around the world. However, the report finds that the number of economies reforming has fallen from 35 last year to 31 in the most recent study. The focus continues to be on reducing the administrative burden of the tax system. In 2011, the time to comply fell by an 8-hour day and the number of payments dropped by almost two, while the Total Tax Rate fell by only 0.3 percent.
Paying Taxes 2013 measures all mandatory taxes and contributions that a medium-sized firm must pay in a given year. Taxes and contributions measured include the profit or corporate income tax, social contributions and labour taxes paid by the employer, property taxes, property transfer taxes, dividend tax, capital gains tax, financial transactions tax, waste collection taxes, vehicle and road taxes, and other small taxes or fees.