Increasing tax burden worries regional businesses - survey

The increasing tax burden and over regulation are threatening businesses and economic growth within the region and across the continent, a survey by PricehousewaterCoopers (PwC) indicates.

Theincreasing tax burden and over regulation are threatening businesses and economic growth within the region and across the continent, a survey by PricehousewaterCoopers (PwC) indicates.

The Africa CEO Survey for 2014, which involved 260 chief executives in 18 African countries, indicated that nearly three-quarters of CEOs in the region are concerned about regulation and taxation.

According to the study, 73 per cent of the CEOs in East Africa said the increasing tax burden is already taking a huge toll on companies and the region’s growth prospects.

Eighty per cent of the chief executives in Rwanda said the local tax policy and tax competitiveness were the critical determinants on which investor’s base their decisions to invest in the country, while 33 per cent said protectionist policies, including high taxes threaten company’s growth prospects.

The report also singled out Rwanda and Uganda for imposing high withholding tax rates, ranging from 15 per cent to 20 per cent.

According to Paul de Chalain, the PwC head of tax services for East, West and South market regions in Africa, CEOs worldwide believe international tax system should be reformed.

He said the chief executives interviewed expressed concerns over the international tax system, arguing that it does not serve today’s world and has caused mistrust.