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This study presents the conclusions of a survey – to be repeated every year on a specific aspect of economic freedom in Italy – promoted by the Centro Einaudi and the Young Entrepreneurs Group of Turin, to coincide with the publication of the Economic Freedom of the World 1997 report. Fiscal freedom can be measured not only in terms of average tax levels, calculated as percentage tax pressure on GDP, currently more than 44%. Over and above the amount of taxes paid, the other dimension of fiscal freedom concerns when and how they are collected. Setting out from an analysis of the international income tax panorama, the author seeks to quantify the effective weight of the Italian tax system on firms, including in his calculations all the implicit extra burdens induced by the complexity of fiscal mechanisms. Finally, he uses a simulation to try to quantify the tangible effects of a reduction in the costs of meeting administrative obligations.