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The point made about payroll taxes is a little overstated. This government, and previous governments over the years, have lowered the employer's share on more moderate salaries so that it is now - if you're in catering as Berenice is, and so hiring low-to-moderate salary people - around 30%. These are (along with around 20% paid by the employee) contributions to the social safety net and health insurance systems, so not really taxes at all (in that they are paid into specific funds and give rise to specific rights).

However, the businessperson - the legal head of the company - has personal social contributions to make, and, in the case of a start-up, the first year may be exonerated. These contributions kick in in the second year, therefore, and, if provision hasn't been made, may come as a shock. They will run to perhaps 40%-45% of salary.

If we add that to whatever income tax Berenice has to pay (a separate matter), we could very well find those 68% of income. Or rather, of her salary.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 04:04:22 PM EST

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