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Singapore retains top spot as the world’s best business environment
Tuesday, 17 January 2012 11:47
A recent World Bank survey has confirmed Singapore’s position as the world’s best business environments – with one of the easiest tax compliance regimes in the world.

The annual World Bank Doing Business report assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 183 economies, ranking each on the basis of various criteria including ease of starting a business, insolvency resolution, cross-border trade and the ease (or otherwise) of paying taxes.  Russell Bedford member firms have contributed to the report’s Paying Taxes survey since 2009, with 51 member and correspondent firms contributing data for the 2012 report on tax regulation, compliance and the real tax burden on businesses and entrepreneurs.

With the country ranked in first place in terms of its overall business environment, this year’s Paying Taxes survey ranks the country in fourth place for ease of paying taxes. Businesses in Singapore are required to make only five separate tax payments per year – among the lowest for any economy in the world.  Moreover, they spend an average of only 84 hours per year in doing so – less than half the time spent by businesses in OECD high-income economies (186 hours per year) and significantly below the East Asia and Pacific average of 215.

Value added tax and corporate income tax entail the greatest compliance burdens, at 40 and 34 hours, respectively.  Employer-paid social security contributions take only 10 hours per year – in contrast to the 55 hours per year necessary in the United States.

Douglas Tan, managing director of Steven Tan Russell Bedford PAC commented, “It is always a pleasure to see the competitiveness of Singapore’s business environment confirmed by such an authoritative survey.  The country’s attractiveness applies as much to new business start-ups as to multinational businesses and international investors; the ease of business incorporation and tax registration has continued to deliver real benefits in retaining our leading position as a country for doing business.”