Kuwait retains its sixth-place ranking as one of the world's best tax environments

November 2016

As its domestic and international businesses await major regulatory change with the introduction of VAT from January 2018, Kuwait has retained its sixth-place ranking as one of the world's most tax-friendly business environments in the latest World Bank Doing Business report. While the country also records a good performance in terms of its overall business environment - ranked in 10th place among the 20 MENA countries covered in the report - specific aspects of its tax environment place it far ahead of its regional peers.

The report shows countries in the MENA region spending an average 208.2 hours per year in meeting their tax compliance obligations: in Kuwait, the average is 98. The country's total tax take of 13 per cent is also highly competitive against the MENA average of 32.2 per cent and the OECD high-income average of 40.9 per cent.

Now in its 14th year, the World Bank Doing Business report assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 190 economies, ranking each on the basis of 11 criteria impacting the ease of doing business in any jurisdiction. Russell Bedford member firms have contributed to the report's Paying Taxes survey since 2009, collating data on tax regulation, recent reforms and the comparative compliance burdens on entrepreneurs and businesses worldwide.

Bader Al Abduljader, managing partner of Russell Bedford in Kuwait, commented: "As Kuwait prepares for a game-changing reform of its tax regime with the introduction of VAT from 2018, it is encouraging to see the fundamentals of the country's tax environment rightly recognised as among the most competitive in the world."

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