Italy the best performing OECD economy in this year's World Bank Paying Taxes survey

November 2017

Russell Bedford International member firm Studio Corno, Milan, has again assisted the World Bank in researching 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.

Italy's success in this year's Paying Taxes survey can be attributed to a significant reduction in employee taxes and contributions, now standing at an average 23.3 percent of profits, in contrast to 43.4 percent last year, resulting in the average total tax take reducing from 62 percent to 48.

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 confirming greatest progress among emerging markets, with El Salvador, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Angola and India showing exponential improvements, up 105, 81, 60, 54 and 53 places, respectively.

Fabio Corno, Managing Partner, Studio Corno, Milan, commented: "It is interesting to see Italy's improved standing in this year's Paying Taxes rankings, clearly the result of changes to employee taxation and contributions. With Italian companies still having to spend an average 238 hours per year on their tax compliance - in contrast to the 160-hour average in OECD high-income economies - there is still much to be done. We should see further improvements in the next few years, also thanks to the introduction of a new welfare policy, which grants employees services which will not be taxed, or subject to social contributions."

To access the full country report click here.

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