New research from the World Bank has revealed that the UK has the second most effective tax system amongst the G20 nations for tax compliance and ease of paying corporate taxes.
According to the survey, companies take an average of 105 hours per year to prepare and file their taxes in the UK, which equates to around three hours per week.
The report looks at the overall tax rate and time spent preparing, filing and paying the three main forms of taxation – corporation tax, labour tax and VAT – and has ranked 190 global economies based upon these factors.
When looking at the wider global picture, the UK falls just outside the top 20 rankings for tax compliance, coming in at 23, but still managed to beat most other developed G20 nations, bar Canada which is rated as best for tax compliance amongst the G20 nations.
In comparison, the US ranked in 37, while Brazil is the lowest ranked member of the G20 at 184.
The average UK business takes almost half the time to complete their tax compliance tasks as the global average, which is currently 237 hours per year.
According to the report, global tax authorities need to do more to realise the full potential of new technologies to reduce the tax compliance burden on taxpayers. It also says that some advanced economies are already in the process of improving their systems to the benefit of both taxpayers and tax authorities.
However, it does recognise that digitisation is not a cure-all and points to Poland where the implementation of new technology for VAT compliance has increased the administrative burden in the short-term.
Looking further ahead, however, the report says technology can be effective as proven by the digitisation of VAT in Spain, which has slightly reduced the time taken to achieve compliance.
The World Bank said that the impact of HMRC’s own Making Tax Digital programme, which comes into force in April 2019, will be assessed in future editions of the report.