Qatar 'imposes least tax world-wide'
Singapore, April 2, 2009
Qatar, which taxes only corporate income, has the friendliest tax regime in the world, according to the 2009 Tax Misery and Reform Index published by Forbes Asia.
Qatar, which has a misery score of 12, is followed closely by the United Arab Emirates (18 points), which has no corporate taxes but imposes social security contributions. Hong Kong is placed third with a score of 41.5.
The annual index assesses whether a jurisdiction's tax policy attracts or repels capital and talent by calculating its Misery score. The score is the sum of the corporate, personal, social security and sales tax rates. Jurisdictions at the top of the index with high scores impose the harshest taxes, while the most tax friendly are at the bottom.
China has the harshest tax regime in the Asia-Pacific region. Forbes said China's tax "misery score" rose seven points to 159 from last year. China is just behind France, the country with the harshest tax regime. Eight of the 10 least tax-friendly countries on the list are European.
New Zealand made the biggest improvement among Asia-Pacific jurisdictions by reducing its Misery score by nine points, mainly through individual income tax and social security reductions that are designed to give a stimulus to personal spending.
This year, India saw a 24-point rise in its Misery score as a result of hikes in social security charges for both the employer and employee.