Rome

Business tax-filing costs '50% more than EU average'

Firms will take 162 days on tax reports this year say retailers

Business tax-filing costs '50% more than EU average'

Rome, June 12 - An Italian company has to work approximately 296 hours a year to complete all the procedures needed to file its tax reports, almost 50% more than the European Union average, according to a survey by retailers' association Confcommercio and the Centre for European Reform think-tank released on Wednesday. Overall, Italian firms' tax-filing costs are twice as much as in France, 60% higher than in Spain and 30% higher than in Germany, according to the study. Italian small and medium-sized companies spend 10 billion euros a year in processing their taxes. The research found that Italian businesses will have to work this year a record 162 days to file tax reports, up from 139 required in 1990 and 150 in 2000. The European average is 130 days, 24% less than Italy. According to Eurostat data released in April, Italy's tax burden in 2011 was the second-heaviest among the 27 EU members. The European statistics agency found Italians had to pay 42.3% of their earnings to the State, only slightly lower than Belgium at 42.8%. On Tuesday, the head of small-business federation Giorgio Merletti warned that businesses could no longer take the fiscal pressure which in 2013 is expected to reach 44.6% of GDP, or 2.4% more than the EU average.

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