Saturday, December 3rd, 2011
A recent World Bank survey ranks Ireland as having one of the easiest tax regimes in the world, putting the country in fifth place overall in terms of tax compliance obligations and the total tax rate.

The annual World Bank Doing Business report assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 183 economies, ranking each on the basis of various criteria including ease of starting a business, insolvency resolution, cross-border trade and the ease (or otherwise) of paying taxes. Russell Bedford member firms have contributed to the report’s Paying Taxes survey since 2009, with 51 member and correspondent firms this year contributing data on tax regulation, compliance and the real tax burden on businesses and entrepreneurs.

This year’s Paying Taxes survey indicates businesses in Ireland spend an average of 76 hours (9.5 working days) per year in meeting their tax compliance obligations – well below the global average of 277 hours (34.6 working days). The country’s total tax rate (estimated at 26.3% of commercial profits) is also significantly below the global average of 44.8%, and labour taxes (estimated at 11.6%) significantly below the 24% average of OECD high-income countries.

Tony Carey, managing partner of Russell Bedford member firm Cooney Carey, commented: “It is encouraging to see that Ireland remains one of the easiest countries in the world in which to do business in terms of tax compliance. Ireland’s fundamental attractiveness to inward investment has long been demonstrated by a host of other international surveys that have put Ireland near the top of the league in terms of its low corporate tax rate, its skilled and adaptable labour force, and the availability of financial skills. Of course it remains to be seen how far the austerity measures of the 2011 budget will impact our rankings next year. While welcome in reducing the overall compliance burden, the introduction of the Universal Social Charge, together with the removal of the PRSI personal contribution ceiling and a 10% reduction in personal allowances, cannot fail to have an impact on overall labour tax costs. The next 12 months are undoubtedly going to prove challenging for both domestic businesses and inbound investors. For businesses reliant on banks and creditors for their working capital needs, effective planning now is essential, as are strong stock and debtor management systems.”

For further information, contact Tony Carey on +353 1 677 9000 or Kempton Bedell-Harper on +44 20 7410 0339. Alternatively, visit the websites at and

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Russell Bedford International

Established in 1983, Russell Bedford International is a global network of independent firms of accountants, auditors, tax advisers and business consultants.

Ranked amongst the world's leading accounting and audit networks, Russell Bedford is represented by some 460 partners, 5000 staff and 200 offices in more than 80 countries in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific.

All Russell Bedford affiliates are well-established firms offering international business advice and services to local and multinational clients. Most provide a full range of services comprising accounting, auditing, tax advice, general business guidance and financial consulting. In addition, many have special expertise in particular fields, such as international taxation or information technology.

In January 2008 Russell Bedford International was named one of the first 17 full members of the IFAC Forum of Firms after reporting it had implemented a globally coordinated quality assurance programme, committed to the use of International Standards on Auditing (ISAs), and met other specific ethics requirements.
Kempton Bedell-Harper
P: +44 20 7410 0339


accounting, tax, audit, international, Russell Bedford, network, CPA, Ireland, World Bank, Doing Business report



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