UK languishes down at 16th in PwC tax league

Ben Southwood
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THE UK’S tax system ranked just 16th in the world in 2012, according to a league table out this morning, even after climbing the table for the first time in seven years.

The UK placed only just above Kazakhstan, and well below Mauritius and Oman in PwC’s measure of the burden of tax on medium-sized firms, even after rising two places. And the country remained five places lower ranked than in 2006.

A high tax burden can tightly constrict the supply side of the economy, PwC economist Andrew Sentance said in the report, hence slowing down a country’s growth – particularly important when the world is struggling to recover from a deep slump.

The United Arab Emirates was ranked best in the world, taking into account the time taken to pay taxes, the overall tax rate, and the number of payments medium-sized firms were required to make.

Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, and Singapore rounded out the top five and Ireland, Bahrain, Canada, Kiribati and Oman took the rest of the top ten places.