What countries are good for taxpayers to live in?

BBN refers to PWC taxblog

Is Estonia a tax paradise or is our tax burden too high? Which is more important for entrepreneurs – is it the simplicity and promptness of communication with the Tax Board or is it low taxes? Is the tax burden lower for Estonian companies than it is for Finnish companies?

PricewaterhouseCoopers, a global network of auditing and business consultancy companies, is together with the World Bank issuing a comparative study of tax environments, Paying Taxes, in which already for the third year running attempted to rank the tax environments of the world countries by the tax burden of companies, the number of state and local taxes payable in a year and the time spent in paying the taxes, based on activities and tax obligations of a hypothetical medium-sized production company meeting the predefined conditions (see Appendix 1 Case study company) in the legal environment of 181 countries, Villi Tõntson, leader of Tax Services  at PricewaterhouseCoopers, writes.

The results of the study showed that the countries with the simplest tax system included the Maldives, Qatar and Hong Kong (China). The businesses found it the hardest to pay taxes on Belarus, Ukraine and Congo. (see Appendix 2 Ease of paying taxes rankings)

The upper decile of the ranking chart (18 countries with the best tax environment) contains 6 Arab oil countries, 5 European countries (Ireland, Denmark, Luxemburg, United Kingdom and Norway), 3 small island states in the Indian /Pacific Ocean region, two Asian “tigers” (Hong Kong and Singapore), one African country (Botswana) and New Zealand.

The lowest decile (18 countries with the worst tax environment) contains 9 African countries, 5 Latin American countries and 2 Asian countries, as well as Belarus and Ukraine as already mentioned above.

Read more here http://www.balticbusinessnews.com/Default2.aspx?BlogID=5763dac9-5c3b-4ff3-a0db-bebf6c928f0a&open=four


Selver to open supermarket in Latvia

The Estonian retail chain Selver, part of the listed Tallinna Kaubamaja group, will open its sixth supermarket in Latvia, in the city of Aizkraukle, on Saturday.
The Aizkraukle Selver, with a sales area of 1 505 square meters, gives work to 29 people.
“The Aizkraukle Selver is the sixth in Latvia and the last of the first phase of expansion. We’re going to focus now on strengthening our positions in all the six regions,” managing director of Selver Latvia Uldis Priekulis said.
In his words, future plans of Selver feature opening a store in the capital city of Riga as well, but it’s too soon to talk about it.
Other Selver supermarkets in Latvia are situated in Salaspils, Daugavpils, Kuldiga, Ogre and Rezekne.

Source: Estonian Review

Revenues of Mazeikiu Nafta climb to 505 mEUR

Revenues of Mazeikiu Nafta Trading House (MNTH), an Estonian company in the Mazeikiu Nafta group of Lithuania, grew last year to 7.9 billion kroons (EUR 504.79 mln) from 5.8 billion kroons in 2007.
The net profit of MNTH was stable at 35.4 million kroons.
The company sold 95 and 98 octane gasolines, diesel fuel, bitumen and aviation fuel in Estonia last year.
MNTH said in the annual report that the Estonian market for light fuels is highly competitive, putting the market volume last year at 900 000 tons. Mazeikiu Nafta estimated that its share of the motor fuel market was 90% and of the diesel fuel market, 50%.
MNTH hopes to sell 600 000 tons of fuels and maintain its market share this year.
The company employed nine people in 2008.

Source: Estonian Review

Freight flows remain the same

Estonian ports loaded and unloaded 12.57 million tons of freight in the first four months of this year, just 0.6% less than during the same period a year earlier, the national statistics office said today.
The main reason for the decline was a year-on-year drop of close to 5% in loading where throughput reached 9.8 million tons.
Unloading at the same time surged 17% to 2.76 million tons.
In April 2.54 million tons of goods was loaded, marking an increase of 16% in annual comparison. Unloading totalled 0.8 million tons, up by 13% from the same month last year.

Source: Estonian Review

Estonian embassy was opened in Budapest

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, while opening Estonia’s new embassy in Budapest, emphasised the importance of the network of Estonia’s foreign representations in preserving and developing foreign relations and in helping Estonian citizens.
According to Foreign Minister Paet, we live in challenging times and in order to overcome them we need to be even more open and co-operate closely with our partners. “Our embassy in Budapest is important in developing Estonian and Hungarian bilateral relations as well as for developing co-operation with Hungary in the European Union and in NATO,” said Paet. “We hope that bilateral relations between Estonia and Hungary will become even more active and that the newly opened embassy in Budapest will become a good place to work for our diplomats who protect the interests of Estonia and its people and enterprises. We can turn today’s economic situation in our favour by trying harder and by creating opportunities,” added Paet. The Foreign Ministry bought the embassy building in Hungary in 2007. Renovation of the building was done mainly by Estonian contractors in 2008. Formerly, the Estonian Embassy in Budapest did not have its own building and Estonian diplomats worked in the rooms of an apartment building, which were adapted for the needs of the embassy. Foreign Minister Urmas Paet opened the embassy in Budapest on 19 May within the framework of his working visit to Hungary.
The Estonian Embassy in Budapest is located at Áldás utca 3, 1025 Budapest II, Hungary. The telephone number is (361) 354 25 70 and fax number is (361) 354 25 71. The embassy can also be reached by email at Embassy.Budapest@mfa.ee, and its website is http://www.estemb.hu.

Source: Estonian Review

Every tenth child lives in jobless household

According to Statistics Estonia, compared to the 1st quarter of the previous year, the number of children living in jobless households increased two times.

In the 1st quarter of 2009, 27,000 children were living in household where no members were working. That is 11% of under 18-year-old children. The share of children in jobless households was at the same level in 2002, during recent years it has remained around 7%. The corresponding indicator has been slightly higher in the European Union (EU) — about 9–10%.

Living in a jobless household increases the risk of poverty. In 2006, 85% of children in jobless households were living below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold. According to this indicator, among European countries Estonia was the third from behind. The share of children in jobless households living in poverty was higher in Slovakia and Lithuania. In EU, two thirds of children living in jobless households were in poverty. In the households where all the adults were working, 7% of children were in poverty in EU and one tenth in Estonia.

The share of children living in jobless households in EU, 2007

Source: Statistics Estonia