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UAE Still World's Most Attractive Tax Jurisdiction

by Lorys Charalambous, Lowtax.net, Cyprus
27 November, 2013

The tax framework of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has again been ranked as the most attractive and least demanding in the world by a report jointly released by the World Bank Group and PwC.

The Middle East general fared well in the 'Paying Taxes' report, with Qatar and Saudi Arabia taking second and third places respectively.

The report, which covers 189 tax jurisdictions, found that the average medium-sized company in the Middle East has a total tax obligation of 23.7 percent. It makes 17.6 payments and needs 159 hours to comply with its tax requirements. By comparison the average case study company worldwide has a tax burden of 43.1 percent, makes 26.7 payments, and takes 268 hours.

Dean Kern, PwC's Middle East markets, tax and legal services leader said: "The Middle East tax environment is evolving. In a desire to become a simple and efficient place to do business, the governments here are looking to strengthen their fiscal frameworks by introducing measures to reduce complexity, such as electronic filing and e-payments."

According to the report, labor taxes and mandatory contributions in the Middle East account for 59 percent of the region's total tax rate, 56 percent of the time to comply, and 59 percent of tax payments. The average amount of tax paid has dropped 9 percent, the number of hours taken has fallen by 55, and the number of payments has declined by seven.

The study also found that 14 economies around the world increased their total tax rate, while the same number lowered tax rates.

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