BUSINESS SHORTS

Slovakia's tax system gets a thumbs-down

A NEW World Bank study says Slovakia has one of the most difficult tax payment systems in the EU.

Only Poland, Hungary and Romania fared worse, according to the Paying Taxes 2008 report from the World Bank and the companies IFC and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Even though Slovakia's tax reform is often hailed as an example for other countries, Slovakia didn't shine in any of the three main categories, the SITA newswire wrote.

"One of the most serious problems is that we have a low tax rate for capital but labour is burdened with as much as 40 percent in tax, which is very huge," the World Bank's economist for Slovakia, Anton Marcinčin, told the Hospodárske Noviny daily.

"We have a simple tax system, but a complicated system of levies," the architect of Slovakia's tax reform, Richard Sulik, told the daily. "This makes the final figures worse."

Simplifying the payroll tax system would be a solution, he said.

Globally, Slovakia finished 122nd out of 178 countries in the study.

"This is a slightly better position than its neighbouring countries, because Hungary ended up in the 127th spot and Poland was the 125th," said Todd Bradshaw, a partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Slovakia. "The Slovak Republic, however, lags behind the Czech Republic (in 113th)."

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