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Government abolishes accountant requirement

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Government abolishes accountant requirement
15:19 CET+01:00
The Swedish government has decided to end the requirement for around 250,000 small businesses to employ an accountant in a move intended to cut red tape.

The new regulations will come into force on November 1st 2010.

"This is an important step to simplify regulations for companies," enterprise minister Maud Olofsson said to journalists on Thursday.

According to Olofsson, the changes will mean a saving of 2.5 billion kronor ($346 million) in costs for affected companies. It will also mean increased costs to the state of 1.3 billion kronor which will be financed by increasing property tax on hydroelectric power and higher stamp duty.

The move was welcomed by the Swedish Federation of Business Owners (Företagarna) who recognised that Maud Olofsson had won a tough battle with the finance ministry to push through the changes.

"This is a hard-won victory for the enterprise minister Maud Olofsson. She has had to toil away like a northern Swedish cart-horse while the finance minister, Anders Borg, has worked against her," the federation's CEO Anna-Stina Nordmark said in a statement on Thursday.

The federation welcomed the reduction in administration that the new regulations bring although they would have liked to see the threshold set higher to include more firms.

Firms with an annual turnover of over three million kronor or total assets of over 1.5 million kronor will continue to be obliged to hire an accountant.

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