Paying Taxes 2012, an annual study by the World Bank, International Finance Corp. and PricewaterhouseCoopers, ranks 183 countries based on difficulty of compliance with business taxes. The study measures the tax systems by viewing a domestic company complying with the different tax laws in each economy. The study measures cost of compliance from the perspective of hours spent filling out forms, number of payments per year and overall tax rates.

Some of the main findings of the study were as follows:

  • In the past seven years, 40 economies eliminated and merged some taxes to simplify tax compliance and reduce costs for firms.
  • On average, complying with tax regulations takes 29 payments and 277 hours per year. This actually is an improvement from seven years ago when it took an additional 5 payments and 46 hours per year more to comply.
  • The average tax rate is 7.4% lower today than seven years ago. The average tax rate stands at 44.8%.
  • On average more than nine types of taxes are paid. Corporate income tax represents 12% of tax payments, 25% of the compliance time and 36% of the tax cost.

Overall, the US is ranked 69 out of the 183 countries surveyed with Maldives, Qatar and Hong Kong being ranked first, second and third.