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Danish tax laws ’grew by a million words’ after 1980s

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Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Danish tax laws ’grew by a million words’ after 1980s
The number of words used to lay out Denmark's tax laws have grown considerably over the years. File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark’s tax laws consisted of over 1.5 million words in 2022, around three times as many as the tax laws in 1989.

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In precise numbers, Danish tax laws grew in size from 469,785 words in 1989 to 1,507,557 words in 2022, according to analysis by the Danish Chamber of Commerce based on data collected by libertarian thinktank Cepos.

The business interest organisation said the trend represents a challenge for Danish companies.

“Imagine going into a book shop and seeing a book of 200 pages and one of 1,200 pages. The one with 1,200 pages takes longer to read,” Jacob Ravn, head of tax policy with Danish Chamber of Commerce, told news wire Ritzau.

A forthcoming EU directive, passed implemented a recommendation from the OECD, meanwhile aims to ensure that all subsidiaries of EU companies pay at least 15 percent in tax.

READ ALSO: How to pay your taxes on a side job in Denmark

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Danish pharmaceutical firm Novo Nordisk, one of the country’s major employers, has criticised this despite already fulfilling the criteria.

The new EU law will mean Novo Nordisk will be required to manage large amounts of new data and calculations that could cost the company millions of kroner.

The Danish Chamber of Commerce argues that the overall pile-up of tax rules should be addressed with another rule: for every new tax law that is created, two old ones must be scrapped.

Other countries including Canada and the UK have already practised similar policies, Ravn noted.

“It could easily be that case [that the many words] are just filler. But I hope not, because why put a huge amount of words into legislation if it has no meaning? So we think this is an independent point in relation to [tax] law,” Ravn said.

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