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Mideast tax laws 'less complex'

Manama, November 24, 2010

The Middle East has fewer and less complex tax laws in the world, according to an international report.

Paying Taxes 2011 is an annual report issued by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the World Bank and International Finance Corporation.

The report ranked Bahrain as the 14th easiest country to pay tax globally, but the lowest in the GCC. It ranked Qatar the top country in the GCC and the second easiest country to pay tax globally.

On average there are almost half as many taxes levied in the Middle East, 5.5, compared to the global average of 10.

Moreover, the time to complete tax obligations is significantly lower than the rest of the world.

The findings further support the region's growth prospects and its position on the global stage.

The report, which looks at 183 economies, finds that in the past year 40 economies have made it easier to pay taxes, with Tunisia improving the most.

For economies that are included in both the 2006 and 2011 report, the time needed to comply has declined by a week, the tax cost has fallen on average by five per cent, and the number of payments has dropped by almost four.

In all, 90 economies have reduced taxes on corporate profits since 2006.

GCC rankings within the report are: Qatar, second; UAE, fifth; Saudi Arabia, sixth; Oman, eighth; Kuwait, ninth; and Bahrain 14th.

'Paying taxes in the Middle East has traditionally been, and continues to be, relatively straight forward,' said PwC Middle East tax leader Dean Rolfe.

'However, as governments increasingly need to source revenue to support economic diversification, tax will increasingly be seen as a suitable and effective solution to fund governments' financial needs.

'The Paying Taxes report is unique and allows governments to benchmark their domestic tax system against those included in the annual study of 183 countries.

'This presents governments with an opportunity to identify both best practice and reform opportunities to improve their international competitiveness.'-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: economy | Middle East | finance | taxes |

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