CENTRAL BANK: THE NUMBER OF COMPANIES AND ENTERPRISES THAT PAY NO TAXES AT ALL IS SHOCKING
Central Bank: 248,581 Russian businesses paid no taxes in 2010.
According to the data compiled by the Information Center of the Central Bank, turnover of the 248,581 companies that paid no taxes to the budget in 2010 totalled 4.24 trillion rubles.
“Almost 66,000 companies among them had a turnover upwards of 1 million rubles in 2010; 123,000 non-profit organizations paid taxes amounting to less than 0.1% of their respective turnovers,” the Central Bank reported. Six major non-payers in the meantime had the turnover in excess of 10 billion rubles each. All in all, specialists examined data on more than 2,064,000 organizations. As it turned out, 12% were non-payers. (These estimates are based on the payments non-profit organizations transacted via the Central Bank in 2010.)
Natalia Malofeyeva, auditor of the International Advisory-Legal Center for Taxation, called the amount of non-payers “shocking”. “Some of them must be dummy corporations, ones established in order to cash finances,” she said. “As for ways and means of amelioration of the situation… it’s not a matter of someone’s decision or anything like that. Tax dodgers ought to be fought of course, but that’s something to be handled by the tax service and the police. Regrettably, the so called reforms within the latter reduced the economic crime divisions so that there is practically nobody left there.”
Oleg Malkin of Investcafe agency said in his turn that mass tax dodging cost the Russian state up to 30% of everything its was due. “This is no laughing matter since the heads of the Interior Ministry’s Investigative Committee announced in 2003 (!) that the scope of tax dodging in Russia was compromising economic security of the state. I do not think that the situation improved any,” he said. Malkin added that a solution to the problem required political will in the upper echelons of state power. Even more importantly, it required actions as opposed to mere declarations.
Ilya Balakirev of UFS Investment Company agreed that the problem existed indeed but pointed out that the figures published by the Central Bank must be misleading. “This figures allow for but a rough estimate of the losses of the budget. They indicate that losses must amount to anything between 200 and 400 billion rubles a year, but even that must be wide off the mark. The actual sums must be greater. The companies that to pay taxes probably do their best to pay as little as possible,” he said. “Needless to say, the problem is more complicated than on might think. On the one hand, tax dodging has a negative effect on the national economy. On the other, increase of taxes and attempts to force businesses to pay the budget are not a lesser evil.”
All experts say that this problem has no simple solution and that attempts to solve it recklessly and overnight will have negative consequences. This is why the powers-that-be are unlikely to try and do anything about it before the presidential election.