Middle East Countries Still a Tax Heaven


UAE is among the world’s tax havens. The local authorities have set not only world’s lowest average tax rates, but also a flexible time frame to comply.

PwC’s Paying Taxes 2015: Middle East report reveals that countries in the Middle East have one of the least demanding tax framework in the world. Also, it states that Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are ranking first and second on the list in terms of total tax rate. Saudi Arabia takes the third place.

In addition to that, filing taxes in these countries does not require much time. This procedure is fastest in the UAE, where it takes an average of 12 hours and it requires four payments. Even though four payments are also required in Qatar, complying taxes there will take you more than 40 hours. In Saudi Arabia, the payments are three, but the procedure spans over 64 hours.

According to a research by Bradley Hackford released last year, UAE is also among the world’s top 10 low-tax destinations. The study has estimated the total tax rate in the country at 14.1%. Also, on the same ranking are two more MENA countries – Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

The countries with the lowest tax rate in the Middle East are: Qatar, UAE, KSA, Bahrain and Oman.

Nevertheless, filing taxes does not go so swiftly everywhere in the Middle East. PwC has calculated that it takes average 160 hours to file taxes in the region, as well as nearly 17 different payments. Despite that, with a tax rate of 24%, the Middle East is still one of the least demanding tax systems in the world.

In contrast, the average tax rate in South America is estimated at over 55%, which makes it the highest worldwide. If you need to comply your taxes in this region you will need a hefty 620 hours and almost 24 payments.

Similar is the case in Africa, where filing taxes takes 317 hours and an average of 36.2 payments. The total tax rate in African countries is also very high – 46.6%.


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