MOSCOW, November 19. /TASS/. New taxes are inadmissible during the crisis while the government should try to reduce existing levies to help business live through difficult times, Russian billionaire businessman Mikhail Prokhorov said in an interview with Vesti FM radio station on Wednesday.
“Any strong country cuts taxes during a period when such changes take place to give business a possibility to survive. Don’t forget that small business provides employment to several dozen million people, even if it pays little to the budget,” Prokhorov said.
No new taxes should be introduced in Russia in the current situation, the businessman said.
Taxes responsible for development, such as profit tax and income tax, are paid into regional budgets while the so-called turnover taxes like duties and value added tax (VAT) are collected by the federal budget. That is why, “the country’s rapid development is less important for the federal budget than for regions,” the businessman said.
“I would keep regional taxes intact. But I would look at the possibility of reducing social security taxes paid from the wage fund by at least several percentage points. And I would reduce VAT,” Prokhorov said.
“Now the government says that we have a budget surplus. But if you have a surplus, you should give a possibility to reduce taxes at least by some part of this surplus,” he added.
The State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, plans to consider a bill on trade levies in the third and final reading on Friday.
The bill allows for introducing trade levies in the federal cities of Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sevastopol from July 1, 2015. Such levies may be introduced in municipalities outside these cities only after a corresponding federal law is adopted.
Chairman of the State Duma Committee for the Budget and Taxes Andrey Makarov earlier said “there is tight agreement, which was also confirmed at a government meeting chaired by the premier that this bill will apply only to Moscow in 2015.”
The lawmaker also said “the levy will not be in any case an additional tax burden.”
According to the deputy, “those who pay for a patent (to engage in specific entrepreneurial activity) are exempt from the levy, while all the other categories of entrepreneurs who pay some taxes have this levy counted towards their tax payments."