The 10 Hardest Places To Do Business In The European Union

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The EU’s leadership has called for a common corporate tax policy throughout Europe.As of now however, there is a variation of more than 40 per cent in how European countries tax corporation’s profit, according to the Doing Business Project from the World Bank Group.

We’ve ranked the 10 countries that take the most of their businesses profits on average and detailed any potential changes these countries might make.

#10 Slovakia

Total Tax Rate (% of profit): 48.2%

Slovakia has come out against an EU-wide corporate tax.

Source: Doing Business

#9 Czech Republic

Total Tax Rate (% of profit): 48.7%

The Czech government is planning on offering incentives to get corporations to move to the Czech Republic.

Source: Doing Business

#8 Estonia

Total Tax Rate (% of profit): 48.8%

Estonia just joined the Euro, and the country's budget is looking a lot rosier than other European nations. Estonia's new ruling party are actually on their way to a budget surplus.

Source: Doing Business

#7 Hungary

Total Tax Rate (% of profit): 53.3%

During Hungary's EU presidency tenure, the country was accused of discriminating against foreign investors with its corporate tax laws.

Source: Doing Business

#6 Sweden

Total Tax Rate (% of profit): 54.6%

Although the tax on profits is still high, Sweden made a large cut to its tax rate in 2009 to make itself more competitive to businesses across Europe.

Source: Doing Business

#5 Austria

Total Tax Rate (% of profit): 55.5%

Austria made threatening comments about Ireland's lower corporate tax rate when Ireland was in need of a bailout from the European Union.

Source: Doing Business

#4 Spain

Total Tax Rate (% of profit): 56.5%

Despite Spain's high corporate tax rate, they miss out on large amounts of revenue because 17-23% of their GDP is from the black market.

Source: Doing Business

#3 Belgium

Total Tax Rate (% of profit): 57%

The OECD recommended that Belgium institute corporate tax reform to make itself more desirable for investment.

Source: Doing Business

#2 France

Total Tax Rate (% of profit): 65.8%

France has criticised Ireland's low corporate tax rate, at one point even threatening to refuse bailout funds if Ireland didn't increase its tax rate.

Source: Doing Business

#1 Italy

Total Tax Rate (% of profit): 68.6%

Dolce and Gabbana allegedly set up a holding in Luxembourg to avoid paying the high taxes in Italy. The fashion designers are in good company, Prime Minister Berlusconi was also accused of tax fraud. His company Mediaset allegedly artificially lowered profits to avoid paying higher taxes.

Source: Doing Business

Now what companies are getting by paying nothing

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