Overtaxed in India

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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: India has the world's most burdensome tax laws. That's the verdict of a new study by Price Waterhouse Coopers and the World Bank. Miranda Kennedy reports from New Delhi, that's not good for business.


MIRANDA KENNEDY: If you were to measure tax legislation by the number of pages it takes to explain it, India has the most: 9,000.

The U.S. has about half that number.

Vivek Mishra, a tax specialist with Ernst & Young, says India's tax laws are so tangled and lengthy that U.S. companies have a tough time understanding them.

VIVEK MISHRA: What needs to be changed is simplifying the laws. And there's a whole bunch of laws that one should just get rid of.

Not only that, but companies in India have to shell out as much as 81 percent of their profits in tax. In some cases, U.S. companies operating here pay even more tax than Indian firms do.

The study says simplifying tax laws would increase productivity and cut down on corruption.

In New Delhi, I'm Miranda Kennedy for Marketplace.

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