Love it or hate it; the World Cup is everywhere at the moment. With terrifying protests and surprising results (Netherlands v Spain - 5:1?!), it's been dominating the trends on social media since kick off on Thursday.
Whoever you're rooting for (I got Bosnia-Herzegovina and Argentina in the syndicate at work: making last night an interesting game!), we've decided to have a look at which countries have the easiest and most complicated tax return systems around the world.
Expanding economies, such as places like Brazil, India and China are taking place on the world stage these days, and along with their global expansion comes global complexity. Tax codes will evolve as the economy rises within these emergent markets.
Evaluating the report conducts by PWC we take a look at taxes around the world and compare the UK tax system to those globally. Qualified to prepare tax returns, it's interesting to see how other countries fare in complexity to taxes.
As celebrities and multinational corporations' tendency to mitigate their global tax exposure continues to create dramatic headlines and the general public discuss their contempt for big companies who don’t pay their fair share of taxes, analysing the time and complexity of other tax systems provides an interesting insight into the UK tax return.
UK and US Tax returns
Of course, those of you having trouble with your UK tax returns are justified. They are labour intensive and require dedication. However, the UK actually ranked as 14th in the world for ease of tax compliance, whilst our neighbours Ireland came in at number 6. Whilst no one would expect the US to be at the top of the tax complexity list, when we compare it with places like Brazil and Venezuela, it did come much further down as number 64 out of 189 economies analysed worldwide.
The European picture in general was a fairly positive one, wherein most taxation systems have been managed for some time. This meant Norway, Switzerland and Denmark all ranked in the top 20, as well as the UK and Ireland.
Dominating the countries identified for the ease of tax compliance was the Middle East with UAE, Quatar, Saudi, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman all scoring within the top eleven; peppered only with Canada, Ireland, Singapore and Hong Kong.
And the most complicated?
Those visiting Brazil during the World Cup may or may not realise that the tax complexity of this rising economy is the most complicated in the world. Perhaps because the nation has developed so quickly; there are contradictory rules from one part to another and uniformity is still something for which the economy desires. With new jobs and industries being created daily, there is a spectacular array of new tax codes. The study suggests that overall experts spent 2,600 hours complying with the tax coding system in Brazil! Of course, a professional will consider the minutiae of detail, but regardless this means around a third of the year is spent on accounting!
That said, many actors, musicians and creative people are busy with the multiple other tax that take priority before accounting duties and tax compliance. We are here to help make this less of a sudden rush, so please give us a call today if you would like help with any tax matters - 44 (0)20 3757 9290