The tax reform started yesterday.
A member of the Duma Committee on Budget Alexei Mikhailov
(the Yabloko faction) shared his views on the start of
the reform with a correspondent from the "Vremya Novostei"
newspaper Viktor Khmaryev.
Question: Now we have a
single rate of income tax - 13%. In addition from January
1 Russian citizens will be not have to pay tax on education
and health care expenditures. Do the authors of this reform
believe that back-to-back, insurance and other schemes
to conceal wages will become ineffective?
Mikhailov: This would have
happened if the rate of the income tax had been backed
by a regressive scale in the social payments that are
accrued on wages. .
Q.: Are you referring to
the social tax that the government plans to replace present
insurance payments with?
Mikhailov: It is absolutely
unimportant what this will be - tax or payments. The 40%
of social payments accrued on wages are too high. They
should be reduced to 20% at most. This can be done without
affecting the population only through a regressive scale:
those who earn more should pay a lower rate.
Q.: But the social tax
proposed by the government contains a regressive scale:
the employer will pay 35.6% of the social tax for a worker
earning less than 100.000 roubles per year. For those
who earn over 300.000 roubles per year, the employer will
pay only 10%.
Mikhailov: This scale is regressive
only in form. The Budget Committee of the Duma proposed
adding one more line to this scale: those earning over
600.000 roubles per year should pay 2%. In addition the
Yabloko faction proposed to levying the amounts spent
not only on education and healthcare, but also on the
purchase of a car, construction materials and spare parts
both from income tax and social payments. In this way
the incomes of rich and well-to-do Russian citizens could
be brought into the open. However, the government did
not adopt these proposals. Therefore shadow schemes will
still remain preferable for the rich. And this is a pity,
as the tax revolution was, at least in words, designed
to bring the shadow economy into the open. But the revolution
got clogged up at the very first step.