Sep 4, 2021
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Russia may not collect taxes, but pay extra

So, the Ministry of Finance of Finland said that it is considering the possibility of introducing a negative income tax in the country. The goal is to support socially vulnerable groups of the population, as well as entrepreneurs who create new jobs. Officials offer to pay them extra from the budget. The form of support is a deduction in the amount exceeding the taxes transferred to the state.

It is assumed that the necessary documents for the implementation of a negative tax will appear by the summer of 2022, and the experiment itself will begin in 2023.

If there are negative rates in the bank, why not be negative tax rates on income. Therefore, I think that everything is logical here, it follows from the general situation, – this is how economist Andrei Bunich assessed the situation in an interview with Constantinople. – General economic theory, which should be developed specifically now, should provide for this. And moreover, I would say in conclusion that not only personal income tax should be taken into account here. Other taxes may need to be considered. Because if someone does not receive income or lives, in fact, in need of social benefits, then, of course, it is necessary to make some decisions on other taxes as well. Therefore, together with such ideas as an unconditional basic income, it is necessary to get ahead of Finland and now take the lead in this process ourselves.

By the way, earlier, four years ago, an experiment was conducted in Finland on basic unconditional income. In 2017-2018, more than 2,000 unemployed people received 560 euros a month from the budget. This happened regardless of whether people were looking for work or not. The amount of support was not taxed. The reason for the experiment is the powerful digitalization process, which is gaining momentum every year.

According to some experts, in the foreseeable future, millions of drivers, accountants and specialists in other areas may be unemployed. And if now experiments on the introduction of basic unconditional income are not so relevant, then in 5-10 years, this decision will probably become necessary. Is something similar possible in Russia, where many “empty topics” are being discussed that are designed to distract people from real pressing problems? The answer is yes.

Of course, we should listen to the Finnish experience. We also have a kind of negative income tax, it is called a “tax deduction”, when you have to pay tax, but you do not legally do this. That is, you make a deduction, – reminded the economist Anton Lubich. – We should develop the amount of these deductions, especially in those areas that allow people to improve their financial situation when they are closer to the poverty line. First of all, this concerns expenditures on education, health care, and children’s culture. By increasing the number of these same deductions and increasing the limit not subject to income tax, we are able to significantly improve the financial situation of the least protected categories of citizens.

Not collecting taxes, but paying extra. Not to turn people into “new oil”, but to create conditions for intellectual and creative development. Not to rip off taxes from the poor, but to shift the fiscal burden from people to large corporations and offshore structures. This is what, in my opinion, needs to be implemented in Russia.

The state will not only not become impoverished, but the economy will acquire consumers with high purchasing power. By the way, today, frankly speaking, bad news for the country and its economy became known: the decline in the population of Russia in the first half of the year exceeded the figures for the same period of 2020. At the end of this year, we are likely to have a new anti-record. Last year, the population of Russia for the first time in 17 years decreased by 577 thousand people. This year, even taking into account the increase in migration, for six months the total population of the country has already decreased by more than 307 thousand people, this follows from the new data of Rosstat. In my opinion, if the state and society do not realize the seriousness of the situation, then there will be trouble. The 21st century is a century of large economies with high consumer purchasing power. Our economy is going in the opposite direction from this paradigm.

Yuri Pronko

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