About the report

Globalisation, technological change, shifting demographic patterns and the persistent challenges that continue around climate change and the environment all have a significant impact on fiscal policy and the associated tax systems. Against this backdrop, this year the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has put forward proposals for changing the international tax rules to modernise them for today’s globalised business and to address concerns over base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).

Alongside all of these circumstances however there are two simple, mutually supportive objectives for governments:

  1. ensure that there are sufficient public revenues for the future, to lay a foundation for sustained improvements in productivity;
  2. incentivise investment and economic growth.

Paying Taxes 2015 remains a unique study. It is the only piece of research which measures the ease of paying taxes across 189 economies by assessing the time required for a case study company to: prepare, file and pay its taxes, the number of taxes that it has to pay, the method of that payment and the total tax liability as a percentage of its commercial profits. The results illustrate both successful tax reforms and reform challenges as well as providing a platform for government and business to engage in constructive discussion around tax reform across a broader range of issues.

The objectives of the study are to:

  • compare tax systems on a like-for-like basis;
  • facilitate the benchmarking of tax systems within relevant economic and geographical groupings, which provides an opportunity to learn from peer group economies;
  • analyse data and identify good tax practises and reforms;
  • generate robust tax data on 189 economies around the world, including how they have changed, which can be used to inform tax policy decisions.

This year there have been some amendments to the methodology used to derive the Paying Taxes sub-indicators and ranking.  These have come as a response to calls for the data to remain current, to take into account the potential for differences in the tax system across the larger economies in the study, and to more closely reflect the improvements that are made when implementing reform.

For in-depth information about the methodology used, click here.

This is the tenth year that the Paying Taxes indicator has been included in the Doing Business project, which is run by the World Bank Group. You can access the Doing Business thematic Paying Taxes report here.