Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are very important for the European economy. However, SMEs often encounter various barriers, whereby tax-related barriers are perceived as the most burdensome that affects their business operations and entrepreneurial activity in general. The aim of this paper is twofold. First, it attempts to identify SMEs perception on current state and measures to be carried out in order to reduce respective red tape. Second, it tries to establish the relationship between burdens imposed by tax policy and entrepreneurial activity. Using hierarchical cluster analysis and descriptive statistics two different datasets are analyzed for the European Union (EU) and Slovenia separately. The results provide evidence that tax burden is less influential than tax administrative burden among EU countries by considering their impact on new business density and total early-stage entrepreneurial activity. Additionally, the results for Slovenia reveal that the need for a stable tax system, with IT and procedurally related measures are highlighted.
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