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VerdictFactCheck concludes that Mamuka Bakhtadze’s statement is TRUE.

Resume:  In accordance with the World Bank’s Doing Business survey, direct taxes (profit tax and property tax) in Georgia, which are paid directly by enterprises, constitute 9.9% of the commercial profits of enterprises. With these figures, Georgia is in the 3rd position in the world ranking. Doing Business considers the total rate of taxes (profit tax and property tax) as a barrier for business. Apart from the tax rates, an additional barrier for business (according to Doing Business) is the frequency (administering) of paying taxes. The Doing Business’s tax payment indicator puts Georgia in the 16th

position in the world ranking.

In regard to the ease of doing business in general, Georgia is ranked 6th

in the world.

Analysis

The Prime Minister of Georgia, Mamuka Bakhtadze, in his speech at the International Import Expo in China, discussed the tax burden in Georgia as well as the international rankings. As he stated:  “Business in Georgia has one of the lowest tax burdens. This is because, as concluded by the World Bank, the total tax rate in Georgia is only 9.9% and this makes us number three in the world in this component.”

Most likely, the Prime Minister underlined the Doing Business rankings and referred to the data given in the last report.

In accordance with the Doing Business report for 2018, Georgia is number 6 in the world in terms of the ease of doing business. This ranking is based on ten primary indicators whilst small and medium size enterprises are the principal subject of the study. Of these ten indicators, one of them is about taxes. In turn, that indicator consists of several components. One of the components is about the share of taxes in the commercial profit of enterprises; that is, the total tax rate. Doing Business surveys medium size enterprises to measure the share of taxes in commercial profit. Of the six existing taxes in Georgia, Doing Business adds two direct taxes to each other and measures them against profit. These two taxes are profit tax and property tax which are paid directly by an enterprise. In order to compose the ease of doing business rankings, the World Bank believes that direct taxes which are paid by an enterprise or an employer are barriers for business.

As per Doing Business measurements, Georgia is ranked 3rd in the world based on the 9.9% taxes to commercial profit ratio whilst Brunei (8%) and Vanuatu (8.5%) are ranked in the 1st and 2nd

positions, respectively.

As we have already mentioned, the total rate of direct taxes is one of the components of the Doing Business tax payment indicator. However, other components of this indicator refer to the number of taxes, payment time and means, VAT refund and other issues of tax administration. In total, Georgia is 16th

in the ranking based on the tax payments indicator.

Graph 1:

  Doing Business Ranking in Terms of Tax Payment

3333333 Source: Doing Business, Report 2019

The aforementioned component is about taxes which are barriers for business. However, whilst analysing the tax burden, it is interesting to measure the weight of taxes in the economy which is measured by the tax incomes to GDP ratio. This indicator shows what part of the economy is taken and redistributed by the government. In the same time, this indicator also includes indirect taxes and income tax which, notwithstanding the taxation subject, is an essential tax burden on business.

In 2016, Georgia was 57th in the world based on this indicator (only pre-2016 information is available). In 2016, the tax incomes to GDP ratio was 25.8%. In the last ten years, the tax incomes to GDP ratio has remained 25% on average and does not have an explicit trend of increase or decrease. In addition, substantial changes in this figure are not expected in the upcoming years.

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