Tax reform: a holistic view

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[Corporate] tax rates are lowest in the Middle East and North Africa and highest in Sub-Saharan Africa, where a company on average pays over 60 percent of its profits as tax. Complying with administrative tax requirements is a real burden for companies in most countries. On average in the 175 economies studied, businesses submit 35 pages of tax returns a year in order to comply with regulations...

Increasing transparency is a fundamental component of tax reform. Discussions about tax reform have often focused on corporate income tax rates. But as the report shows, corporate income taxes are only [36%] of the total taxes that businesses pay.

From the PwC-World Bank report released today, entitled Paying Taxes: The Global Picture. As any economist will tell you, high tax rates actually lower government revenue, as taxpayers find ways to evade taxes. This report looks not just at corporate income tax rates, but at all types of taxes that companies pay - including labor, property and sector-specific taxes. In true Doing Business style, it also considers the ease of paying taxes - counting payments, procedures, and hours involved in satisfying government requirements.

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