El Salvador the stand-out tax reformer in this year's World Bank Doing Business report

November 2017

Russell Bedford International member firm Cornejo & Umaña, Ltda. de C.V., El Salvador, has again assisted the World Bank in research for its Paying Taxes survey, part of its annual Doing Business project. 

Published annually since 2003, the World Bank Doing Business project provides objective measures of business regulations for local firms in 190 economies worldwide. Russell Bedford International member firms have assisted the World Bank in researching its annual Paying Taxes survey since 2009, contributing data on tax regulation, recent reforms, and the real costs of tax compliance worldwide.

This year’s report shows El Salvador up 22 places in the overall Ease of Doing Business rankings, from 95 to 73 – a situation driven by the country’s outstanding improvements to its fiscal regime. The number of submissions required have been cut from 41 to seven over the past 12 months (against an OECD average of 10.9), with the number of hours spent on tax compliance reducing from an onerous 248 per year to 180 – comparable to the average 160 hours of OECD high-income economies.

More broadly, this year’s report shows no change on last year’s top-performing countries, with New Zealand, Singapore and Denmark again taking the top three slots. The report’s Paying Taxes survey this year shows some remarkable improvements in individual countries’ regulatory regimes, and again confirms greatest progress among emerging markets, with Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Angola and India also showing exponential improvements, up 81, 60, 54 and 53 places, respectively. Italy shows the best performance of OECD high-income economies, moving from 126 to 112, while the United Kingdom, conversely, shows its worst performance in recent years, down 13 places from 10 to 23.

Cornejo & Umaña, Ltda. de C.V. Managing Partner Luis Alfredo Cornejo Martínez commented: “It is gratifying to see the country’s performance more closely aligned with that of the OECD high-income economies, both in terms of the time spent on tax compliance, and the number of submissions required. And the fact that El Salvador’s total tax take – at 35.5 percent of profits – is now lower than the OECD’s 40.1 percent testifies to the country’s ever-improving competitiveness.”

To access the full country report click here.

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