Bureaucrats do it by the book

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Brasilia - Brazil tax rules are more difficult to hack through than the Amazon jungle, so what better way to highlight the mess than to put them in print? All 41 266 pages.

The result: a book that weighs as much as an African elephant and is taller than a grown man. Enough reading to cure the most difficult case of insomnia.

“My goal is to invite society to reflect - the country needs a new model rendering life less difficult for firms and taxpayers,” tax lawyer Vinicios Leoncio told AFP after unveiling the colossal work.

The 7.5-ton volume lists chapter and verse the myriad fiscal rules and regulations governing life in the continent-sized nation.

According to a 183-nation study, Brazil is “the absolute world leader in terms of tax-related bureaucracy”, Leoncio said.

He claimed that a Brazilian firm spends 2 600 hours a year on its taxes. “The average in Europe is 180 hours,” Leoncio said.

“We are worse than Mozambique, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone - in Brazil we create 35 tax norms per day,” he said.

Lawmakers keen on cutting red tape put the gargantuan book, titled “Patria Amada” (Beloved Country), on display in Brazil's Congress.

“Either Brazil sees off bureaucracy or bureaucracy will see off Brazil,” said lawmaker Valdir Colatto. - Sapa-AFP

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