Hong Kong scored high for simplicity and fairness of its tax system in a recent survey of six countries, according to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Published in a discussion paper entitled 'Perspectives on Fair Tax', the survey of about 1,700 members in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United States and Britain found that Hong Kong respondents rated the city's tax system at an average 4.19, on a scale of one to five, for simplicity. The score was the highest of the countries surveyed. Respondents in Hong Kong gave their tax system a mean score of 3.47 for fairness, making it the second fairest tax regime after Singapore. Hong Kong consistently scored in the top two spots when respondents were asked whether they thought that its tax system clearly differentiated tax avoidance from tax evasion, on its level of transparency, communication with tax authorities, and whether the reasons for taxes were being communicated. However, during qualitative focus group discussions, respondents noted that while the tax rules in Hong Kong were simple, uncertainty was created by the way the Inland Revenue Department interpreted the legislation. Respondents said commercial transactions were becoming more complicated, and it was important for a tax system to keep up with these changes. Chas Roy-Chowdhury, ACCA head of taxation, said: 'The report's findings also show that tax systems lag behind the economic cycle, that it simply can't keep up with the pace of change. Governments should explore the creation of flexibility in the tax structure to allow for a swift response to changing economic conditions.'