Danny McCance 21 Nov 2018 11:25am

UK tax system remains second most efficient in G20

The UK has been beaten by Canada for efficiency of paying business taxes

It came 23rd globally for the second year running, according to PwC’s Paying Taxes report.

The ranking of 190 economies is based on three main taxes – corporation tax, labour tax and VAT – and considers the tax rate and the time spent preparing, filing and paying them.

On average a medium-sized UK business spends 105 hours a year filing tax returns, which is half of the 237-hour global average.

Canada came 19th overall while Hong Kong came top overall, followed by the UAE and Qatar in joint-second.

The US came in at 37, although that does not include data since it implemented major corporate tax reform earlier this year.

“While our tax system may continue to fair favourably from an administrative perspective it is, however, far from perfect,” said Kevin Nicholson, UK head of tax at PwC.

He pointed to change in working practices, technological advances and the “perceived disparity between the tax treatment of bricks and mortar businesses and those operating online” as evidence for the need to review a tax system that hasn’t seen reform in more than 30 years.

In March, the Treasury Committee launched three separate reviews into the UK tax system and in July businesses urged the government to tackle the “huge costs and complexities of the UK tax system”.