Igor Artemyev, Deputy Head of the State Duma Committee for
Credit Institutions and Financial Markets (the YABLOKO faction)
shared his views on the tax reform with Moskovskiye Novosti:
Our faction believes that key reform should be a reduction in
the single social tax. This is a matter of principle for us, as
one of the main points of our programme during the [previous]
election to the State Duma was legalisation of the population's incomes.
Why do most enterprises continue their shadow accounting? The
tax system for wages includes 13 per cent of personal income tax
and 36 per cent of the single social tax. It transpires that the
employer should pay an additional 50 kopeks of tax from every
rouble of wages.
Naturally, no one wants to pay real wages at such a huge social
tax. However, legalization could become a positive factor for
our economy in general. We would like to set a different scale:
if a worker is paid small wages, about 3,000 roubles per month,
than the single social tax rate should remain very high. In this
case it will be unprofitable for the employer to pay such low
wages. The higher the wages, say from 30,000 to 300,000 roubles,
the lower the social tax rate. If the wage is only 5,000 roubles,
the tax rate will be only 20 per cent. Everyone would profit:
the employers, the employees and the state.
We think that it is too early to abolish the sales tax, as this
provides the main source of tax receipts for Russian Federation
subjects. How can we abolish taxes at a regional level and yet
preserve them at the federal level? At first sight, a positive
step was taken - an abrupt reduction in the profits tax. At the
same time, however, the 50% investment break was abolished. So
it would appear that the government only states a reduction in
the tax, while increasing it in reality.
Small businesses represent another problem. Our faction submitted
a special draft law representing amendments to the Civil Code
and the Tax Code. It is entitled "On Family Business".
About half the world-s population are engaged in entrepreneurial
activity - refurbishing flats or baking cakes, etc.
What is happening in our country? If I, for example, don't establish
a special enterprise and register with the tax authorities, I
can face [criminal] punishment envisaging up to three years imprisonment
for illegal entrepreneurial activity. At the same time the Constitution
states that a citizen is guaranteed the right to entrepreneurial
activity. Why should I apply to the state authorities if I want
to run some business?
Our draft law envisages the establishment of a special kind of
entrepreneurial activity, which does not require any permits from
the authorities. To start up such a business, you should only
have to send a letter to the tax authorities notifying them about
the kind of business you plan to run. And entrepreneurs involved
in the small business should be exempt from all taxes apart from
personal income tax. Some restrictions should be placed on their
operations. They would be banned from sales, for example, of goods
subject to excise duty and would not be allowed to employ anybody.
In our opinion this law in our view should attract most of the
active population into small business.
of small-scale business