Key findings: the regional picture

Africa

Still a difficult region for paying taxes. It has the highest average number of payments, and the second highest Total Tax Rate and time to comply. The Total Tax Rate continued to increase (due to implementing minimum tax rates and increasing social security contributions) while the time to comply decreased thanks to improvements in accounting software and electronic systems for paying and filing tax returns.

The region fares better on post-filing. For the case study scenario, correcting a corporate income tax return would be likely to trigger a tax audit in 51% of African economies, but the completion time for those audits, is less than the global average. 

Paying Taxes 2017 key findings: Africa
Paying Taxes key findings: Asia Pacific

Asia Pacific

The region performs better than the global average on all sub-indicators, apart from the new post-filing index. Time to comply and the number of payments continue to fall, but the Total Tax Rate has increased slightly. The time to comply and the number of payments fell due to electronic systems being introduced or improved. The Total Tax Rate increased slightly as labour taxes and business rates increased in the region.

For the post-filing index, the processes take longer than the global average for all measures apart from the time to obtain a VAT refund. It has the longest average time of any region to comply with a corporate income tax audit and in 45% of economies a corporate income tax audit is expected. 

Central America and 
the Caribbean

The Total Tax Rate and number of payments sub-indicators for the region have continued to fall, with changes to profit taxes and improved use of electronic systems. There has been a slight increase in the time to comply resulting from the introduction of VAT in The Bahamas. It remains the region where profit taxes account for the greatest share of the Total Tax Rate, but the lowest share of the time to comply.

The region does not fare well on the post-filing measures. All four components of the post-filing index take longer than the global averages. The region takes the longest time to comply with, and to obtain, a VAT refund. 

Central America and the Caribbean
Central Asia and Eastern Europe

Central Asia and Eastern Europe

This region continues to perform well for the Total Tax Rate, time to comply and for payments – all of which are below the global averages and have fallen this year. The region has recorded the largest decrease this year of any region in the number of payments due to the continued introduction and improvement of electronic systems, and the abolition of taxes.

The region fares better than most regions in the post-filing index with better than average global results for three of the components: time to obtain a VAT refund, time to comply with and time to complete a corporate income tax audit. 

EU and EFTA


All three of the original sub-indicators are below the global average with the Total Tax Rate and time to comply still falling. Almost two thirds of the economies in the region made changes which affected their Total Tax Rates, mostly by small amounts, across the range of profit, labour and other taxes. It is however the only region where the number of payments sub-indicator has increased following the introduction of a tax that cannot be paid and filed online.

The region performs the best on the post-filing index and across each of its components. This is largely due to the small number of economies which will audit the corporate income tax return for the error correction and because VAT refunds are available in all applicable economies. 

Paying Taxes key findings: EU and EFTA
Paying Taxes key findings: Middle East

Middle East


This continues to be the easiest region in which to pay taxes, with the lowest Total Tax Rate and time to comply, and a number of payment sub-indicators below the global average. These three sub-indicators remain unchanged from last year.

The region performs worse than the global average in all four components of the post-filing index.

North America

This region, with its three economies, still has the lowest payments sub-indicator and the time to comply also remains below the global average. Despite a small increase due to changes in property and labour taxes, the region’s Total Tax Rate remains below the global average.

The region scores well on the post-filing index largely because the case study company is unlikely to be audited as a result of the corporate income tax correction in the United States.

Paying Taxes key findings: North America
Paying Taxes key findings: South America

South America


The region shows the greatest reduction in the Total Tax Rate and time to comply since last year, but these sub-indicators remain the highest of any region. The Total Tax Rate has fallen as the threshold rates for a turnover tax changed. The time to comply fell as the introduction and improvement of electronic systems across the region took effect which also kept the payment sub-indicator below the global average.

South America has the least efficient post-filing processes of all regions, predominantly because VAT refunds are not available to the case study company in any economy and the corporate income tax processes take longer than the global average.

Contact us

Andrew Packman
Tax transparency and total tax contribution leader
Tel: +44 (0)1895 522104
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Neville Howlett
Director external relations, Tax
Tel: +44 (0)207 212 7964
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