Total tax rate (% of commercial profits)

Definition: Total tax rate measures the amount of taxes and mandatory contributions payable by businesses after accounting for allowable deductions and exemptions as a share of commercial profits. Taxes withheld (such as personal income tax) or collected and remitted to tax authorities (such as value added taxes, sales taxes or goods and service taxes) are excluded.

Description: The map below shows how Total tax rate (% of commercial profits) varies by country. The shade of the country corresponds to the magnitude of the indicator. The darker the shade, the higher the value. The country with the highest value in the world is Comoros, with a value of 216.50. The country with the lowest value in the world is Vanuatu, with a value of 8.50.

Source: World Bank, Doing Business project (

See also: Country ranking, Time series comparison

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Development Relevance: The total tax rate payable by businesses provides a comprehensive measure of the cost of all the taxes a business bears. It differs from the statutory tax rate, which is the factor applied to the tax base. In computing business tax rates, actual tax payable is divided by commercial profit. Taxes are the main source of revenue for most governments. The sources of tax revenue and their relative contributions are determined by government policy choices about where and how to impose taxes and by changes in the structure of the economy. Tax policy may reflect concerns about distributional effects, economic efficiency (including corrections for externalities), and the practical problems of administering a tax system. There is no ideal level of taxation. But taxes influence incentives and thus the behavior of economic actors and the economy's competitiveness.

Limitations and Exceptions: To make the data comparable across countries, several assumptions are made about businesses. The main assumptions are that they are limited liability companies, they operate in the country's most populous city, they are domestically owned, they perform general industrial or commercial activities, and they have certain levels of start-up capital, employees, and turnover. The Doing Business methodology on business taxes is consistent with the Total Tax Contribution framework developed by PricewaterhouseCoopers (now PwC), which measures the taxes that are borne by companies and that affect their income statements. However, PwC bases its calculation on data from the largest companies in the economy, while Doing Business focuses on a standardized medium-size company.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: The data covering taxes payable by businesses, measure all taxes and contributions that are government mandated (at any level - federal, state, or local), apply to standardized businesses, and have an impact in their income statements. The taxes covered go beyond the definition of a tax for government national accounts (compulsory, unrequited payments to general government) and also measure any imposts that affect business accounts. The main differences are in labor contributions and value added taxes. The data account for government-mandated contributions paid by the employer to a requited private pension fund or workers insurance fund but exclude value added taxes because they do not affect the accounting profits of the business - that is, they are not reflected in the income statement.

Aggregation method: Unweighted average

Periodicity: Annual

General Comments: Data are presented for the survey year instead of publication year.