A new index on tax complexity around the world was published recently, courtesy of TMF Group, the international professional services firm. There were few surprises therein. The top-end of the index featured the usual rogues’ gallery of fiendishly complicated tax systems, many of which were found in Latin America, where taxpayers often contend with three layers of taxation – federal, state/regional, and municipal.
The only surprise perhaps was that Brazil, infamous for its tax complexity, as noted here last week, wasn’t top of the overall league table. That unwanted accolade went to Turkey, mostly because of extensive local language and currency requirements, and a long and frequently changing tax code. In short, don’t think about navigating the Turkish tax code without the services of a knowledgeable local guide, according to TMF. Istanbul is no longer Byzantium by name, but the nation’s tax … Read More »
Reforming a country’s tax code can often be an agonizing process. Often, it starts with the formation of a panel of experts or parliamentarians, charged with studying various options for reform. Then, the panel will publish a report detailing where the tax system is failing, and proposing ways in which it can be fixed. The report will then be submitted to parliament or the government, upon which the finance minister will laud the great work and dedication of the panel and its chairman. Within a week of this, it’ll probably be forgotten about. Or, if a tax reform bill is eventually drawn up, it will be so divisive as to be virtually impossible to approve, with the result that it gets batted back and forth between lower and upper chambers, finance committees, and constitutional courts. Some members of the legislature … Read More »