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Georgia now one of the world’s top ten countries for business
Zviad Akhvlediani of Russell Bedford’s Georgian firm Akhvlediani Business Consulting, comments on World Bank Paying Taxes survey
With the Doing Business series now in its 10th year, the new report, Doing Business 2013: Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises, assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 185 economies, ranking each on the basis of various criteria including ease of starting a business, insolvency resolution, and cross-border trade. Since 2009, Russell Bedford member firms have contributed to the report’s Paying Taxes survey, which examines the regulatory and financial burden of tax compliance on companies worldwide.
In terms of reducing the tax compliance burden on entrepreneurs Georgia again showed considerable progress, moving up 12 places from 45th to 33rd. Zviad Akhvlediani, of Russell Bedford correspondent firm Akhvlediani Business Consulting remains sceptical, however. “It is gratifying to see Georgia’s business framework lauded in this way. But in terms of tax compliance, there is still much to be done. Georgian businesses spend an average of 280 hours per year just on meeting their tax reporting obligations – compare this to our peers in OECD countries, who are spending an average of 176.”
A recent initiative on the part of the Georgia Revenue Service (the national tax authority) has, Akhvlediani believes, been a major factor in the country’s improved tax ratings. “We have been working closely with the Georgia Revenue Service in the implementation of their ‘Alternate Audit’ project, which allows an audit firm’s opinion to be considered final, obviating the need for inspection or validation by the tax authorities. Initiatives such as these clearly work – for businesses, and for government – and we remain committed to working with all necessary authorities to continue to streamline processes for entrepreneurs.”
Notes to Editors
About 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 280 offices in more than 90 countries in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. Russell Bedford International is a member of the IFAC Forum of Firms and a member of EGIAN, the European Group of International Accounting Networks and Associations.
Akhvlediani Business Consulting
Apt. 55, 9 Antonovskaya Street
Tbilisi 0186, Georgia
T: +995 322 711 999 / 712 999