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Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015) World Bank Group ; PwCThis is the tenth year that the paying taxes indicator has been part of the World Bank Doing Business project. The journey over the period of the study has been an eventful and interesting one and the economic backdrop continues to present a challenging environment for governments as they consider their future fiscal policies. Globalization, the march of technological change, changing demographic patterns and the persistent challenges that continue around climate change and the environment all come together to generate a turbulent mix of issues which have a significant impact on fiscal policy and the associated tax systems. Against this backdrop, this year the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has put forward proposals for changing the international tax rules to modernize them for today s globalized business and to address concerns over base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS). It is apparent that these proposals are already changing the way some tax authorities apply existing rules, leading to new and increased uncertainty for business, at least in the short term. Alongside all of this however there are two simple, mutually supportive objectives for governments; to ensure that there are sufficient public revenues for the future, to lay a foundation for sustained improvements in productivity, while at the same time incentivising investment and economic growth. This year the authors have also focused more on the compliance aspects of the information that authors collect through the study. Stable tax systems and strong tax administrations are important for businesses, helping them to operate in an environment where the tax treatment of transactions is predictable, and where governments operate transparently. The paying taxes study provides an unrivalled global database which supports an ongoing research program.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013) World Bank ; International Finance Corporation ; PricewaterhouseCoopersThe paying taxes indicators (the total tax rate, the time to comply and the number of payments) have now been part of the World Bank Group Doing Business project for eight years, monitoring the changes and reforms made to tax regimes around the world. The simple aim of the study is to supply business leaders and policy makers with robust data to enable tax systems to be compared on a like for like basis, and to help inform the dialogue which underlies the development of tax policy. The study is unique in that it now not only covers 185 economies, but it also provides an insight into how tax systems have developed over a significant period of time, using a consistent methodology. The author has focused on the trends that the Paying Taxes data show, both at the global level, and also by geographical region. Globally it is now easier for firms to pay taxes than eight years ago. Both the administrative burden and the average tax rates have decreased over this period. The studies for some time have shown a trend toward a lowering of corporate tax rates and a broadening of the tax base. In last year's publication the pace of reform continued but with an increasing focus on improving the administrative aspects of the tax system. This year's results are more complex; administrative reforms have continued, but the fall in average global tax rates seems to have stalled; this may indicate that tax rates are stabilizing as the pressure on public finances to grow.