Romanian micro-firms will pay a profit tax of 16% starting January 1, 2007, compared to the current 3%, Romanian Finance minister Sebastian Vladescu said during a talk-show on the Antena 3 TV station on Thursday. He said the move was meant to bring small and medium enterprises in line with the fiscal regime applied to other companies.

Vladescu argued that the fiscal improvement brought by the introduction of the flat tax in Romania last year has boosted incomes both for employers and employees. Welfare contributions will drop 2% next year, he said.

He also dismissed rumors related to a possible VAT increase and said the flat tax would also stay the same despite pressure for the change of one of the two taxes.