Singapore among least complex countries for financial compliance – but for how long?
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Singapore among least complex countries for financial compliance – but for how long?

18 September 2018

Singapore remains a strong and stable environment in which to do business, sitting comfortably among the 10 least complex jurisdictions in the world for accounting and tax compliance, according to TMF Group’s second annual Financial Complexity Index 2018.

TMF Group, a leading provider of global business and compliance services, ranked 94 jurisdictions across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Americas; 1 being most complex through to 94 the least complex. For a second year, the Cayman Islands came in as the least complex place for compliance from an accounting and tax perspective.

To determine the rankings with its in-country experts, TMF Group used a 74-question survey with weighted complexity parameters, namely; regulatory compliance, tax, statutory reporting and bookkeeping.

The 5 most complex jurisdictions in APAC

Global ranking Jurisdiction
1 China
2 Vietnam
3 India
4 Philippines
5 Thailand


Commenting on the rankings, TMF Singapore’s Managing Director Siaw Kim Leng said: “It’s exciting to see Singapore remain a steady force in the Asia Pacific region. Our favourable tax system and ideal business environment have remained largely unchanged for many years now, and many multinational companies are taking advantage of that.

“However, changes announced in the most recent budget - including changes to the partial tax exemption and start-up tax exemption schemes, and GST to be levied on imported services from 2020 - may have a financial impact on businesses in the future. Even in the most stable of business environments, it pays to have locally-based support to help plan for these nuances.”

TMF Group’s Head of APAC Paolo Tavolato added: “In this era, it’s no longer nice to be doing business in Asia – it’s essential. And with so many of the big countries at the top end of this Financial Complexity Index, it’s the smaller nations that are proving most attractive for investment in APAC. Singapore has always been a safe pair of hands, and we don’t expect that to change any time soon.”

To download the full report please click here.

About TMF Group

TMF Group helps its clients operate internationally and ‘belong’ wherever they are in the world. We do this by making sure they are properly set up to do business in any country and compliant with local and international regulations.

Our work includes helping companies of all sizes with business services such as HR and payroll, accounting and tax, corporate secretarial, global governance and administration services for structured finance, private equity and real estate investments. We have more than 7,000 in-country experts in over 80 jurisdictions worldwide.

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