Italy has the highest 'real' tax burden in the world, with 55% of every euro earned being taxed, retail association Confcommercio said on Thursday.
Confcommercio's research department said in a report that the real tax burden of 55% was much higher than the 45.2% suggested by official figures.
"Not only is Italy in first place, it also also unlikely that any one will overtake us in the near future," said Mariano Bella of Confcommercio's research department.
The report said Denmark was in second place with a real tax burden of 48.6%, followed by France, 48.2%, and Sweden, 48%.
Premier Mario Monti's emergency government of non-political technocrats has raised taxes as part of its efforts to restore health to the public finances and haul the country out of the centre of the eurozone crisis.
But this has further raised an already high tax burden and the Bank of Italy recently said this was unsustainable in the long term.