World’s Most Business-Friendly Tax Regimes Revealed: U.S. Doesn’t Make Top 30

The United States has appeared well down a list of the world's most business-friendly tax regimes, adding weight to calls from Donald Trump to cut corporate tax rates and slash red tape.

The table, jointly published by the World Bank and consultancy firm PwC, ranked the U.S. at 36th out of 190 countries, based on tax rates and the administrative ease of compliance.

The U.S. had jumped from 53rd place in the previous year. However, its average tax rate, at 44%, and average time to comply, at 175 hours, were largely unchanged, indicating the rise had more to do with what was happening in other countries.

On average, companies around the world paid a total tax rate of 40.6%, down 0.1 percentage point from a year earlier. The average time taken to comply, meanwhile, fell by eight hours to 251 hours.

“More efficient tax systems are good for business, which in turn helps promote economic growth and investment.

The time reduction was higher than in recent years, reflecting improvements in electronic tax systems and, in particular, efficiency reforms implemented in Brazil. The small decrease in the total global tax rate, meanwhile, came after 44 economies raised taxes, while 38 cut them.

“While we recognize the pressure on governments to raise tax revenues to fund public spending, in many economies, governments and tax authorities can make it easier for companies to pay their taxes,” PwC’s Andrew Packman said. “More efficient tax systems are good for business, which in turn helps promote economic growth and investment.”

The UK, which jumped five places to 10th, was the highest-ranking G20 country on the list, followed by Canada at 17th. Britain’s rise came after it cut corporate taxes last year.

Trump has pledged to cut the U.S. corporate tax rate to 15%, a move that would bring the country more into line with nations such as Ireland, Singapore and the Chinese province of Hong Kong.

Middle Eastern countries continued to be the easiest in which to pay tax, with Qatar and the UAE sharing top spot on this year’s list. They were followed, in descending order, by Hong Kong, Bahrain, Ireland, Kuwait, Denmark, Singapore and Macedonia.

The full table can be viewed here.


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events