London, United Kingdom (PressExposure) October 24, 2012 -- Member firms of global professional services network Russell Bedford International have again assisted the World Bank in the compilation of its annual Doing Business project, contributing data on current tax regulation, recent reforms, and the real impact of tax compliance on businesses worldwide.
While Singapore tops the league as the world's best business location, the emerging markets are again revealed as the most pro-active in reducing regulation, with Poland the most improved business environment overall, followed by Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Burundi, Costa Rica and Mongolia.
With the Doing Business series now in its 10th year, the new report, Doing Business 2013: Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises, assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 185 economies, ranking each on the basis of various criteria including ease of starting a business, insolvency resolution, and cross-border trade.
Since 2009, Russell Bedford member firms have contributed to the report's Paying Taxes survey, which examines the regulatory and financial burden of tax compliance on companies worldwide. Here too, the emerging markets lead the reform drive, with Eastern Europe and Central Asia showing the biggest improvement in the ease of paying taxes in the past eight years. Tax compliance remains easiest in the Middle East, however, with the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia occupying the top three spots in terms of the total tax burden, followed by Hong Kong and Singapore. Ireland, ranked sixth, remains the only European country in the top ten.
Tax compliance is most onerous in Latin America and the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, with businesses here spending in excess of 300 hours per year on meeting their filing obligations.
Russell Bedford International chairman Geoff Goodyear commented: "It is gratifying to see the emerging markets at the forefront of reducing the compliance burden on entrepreneurs. But it remains the case that businesses in developing countries are still forced to spend almost twice as long on tax compliance as their European and American peers. We will continue to press for further reforms in these markets, and work with our member firms in these locations to minimise the impact of the administrative burden on entrepreneurs."