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Wed 16 Dec 2009 02:36 PM

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GCC named as best region for lowest tax rates

Latest research shows Gulf countries lead the world with their tax regimes.

GCC countries have amongst the lowest total tax rates and simplest compliance requirements globally, the latest research has shown.

The Paying Taxes 2010 report, by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), revealed Gulf countries lead the world with their tax regimes.

The report, part of the World Bank’s Doing Business research, ranked Qatar in 2nd place, the UAE in 4th and Saudi Arabia in 7th. Oman was ranked in 8th place, Kuwait in 11th and Bahrain in 13th.

“It is encouraging to see the Middle East region achieve these results, and clearly highlights the attractive tax regimes that are currently in place in many jurisdictions in the region,” said Dean Rolfe, PwC’s Middle East tax leader.

“These results help explain why places like Dubai have become such popular locations for international organisations doing business in the Middle East.

“That said, while current tax rates are generally low, there is the risk that new taxes will be introduced in the future which could impact current rankings.”

The Paying Taxes study gathered information on the ease of paying taxes for a small to medium-size manufacturer and retailer in 183 economies around the world.

The Maldives was ranked as the top place for the ease and costs of paying taxes. The UK was ranked 16th while the United States was 61st.

“Despite the global economic downturn, tax reform remains important for governments globally,” David Stevens, PwC tax partner, said.

“In the region, ongoing reform is essential to remain competitive.  And within the region, competition investment continues to increase. The ease and efficiency of tax administration and employment/labour charges is an increasingly important consideration for business,” he said.

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