Ireland is one of the most efficient countries in the world in which to pay business taxes, a new study shows.

The PwC/World Bank Group report shows that Ireland tops the EU league table and comes fifth in the world.

The study ranks 190 countries according to the levels of bureaucracy involved in paying and filing taxes, but also the amount of tax levied on companies. 

In Ireland, the advertised or headline rate comes very close to the actual rate that companies end up paying.

The 26% rate here is comprised of 12.4% in profit taxes, just over 12% in labour taxes - mostly PRSI - and around 1.5% in other taxes. It compares to an EU average of 40.3%.

The top ten rankings for the EU countries for ease of paying taxes are Ireland, Denmark, UK, Finland, San Marino, Latvia, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Netherlands and Estonia.

The top ten worldwide list is headed jointly by Qatar and United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Bahrain, Ireland, Kuwait, Denmark, Singapore, Macedonia and the UK. 

According to the study, a typical Irish company spends around a quarter of its total commercial profit in taxes, spends just over two weeks dealing with its tax affairs and makes a tax payment nearly every six weeks.

This compares to a typical global company paying over a third of its commercial profit in taxes, spending seven weeks dealing with its tax affairs and making a tax payment every two weeks. 

The report also shows the efficiency of claiming a VAT refund and Ireland scores well with the time taken to file a VAT refund amounting to one hour, compared to 7.6 hours for the OECD high income region. 

"Having a simpler tax system with competitive business tax rates and a robust and transparent tax regime, gives Ireland a real advantage in the market for attracting direct investment," commented Joe Tynan, Head of Tax at PwC Ireland.  

"While no-one likes paying tax, the Irish tax system makes it relatively easy to comply with the rules and is much less bureaucratic system compared to other EU countries," Mr Tynan added.

He said that given the many geopolitical uncertainties including Brexit and a new political leader in the US, not to mention the global tax reform agenda, the country's tax competitiveness now is even more important than ever.

"We need to continue to work with the OECD to ensure that we are recognised as having a corporate tax system that is fit for purpose and at the forefront of global standards," he added.