Taxation in Russia

The Russian Tax Code (Russian: Налоговый кодекс Российской Федерации) is the primary tax law for the Russian Federation. The Code was created, adopted and implemented in three stages.

The first part, enacted July 31, 1998, also referred to as the General Part, regulates relationships among taxpayers, tax agents, tax-collecting authorities and legislators, tax audit procedures, resolution of disputes, and enforcement of law.

The second part, enacted on August 5, 2001, defines specific taxes, rates, payment schedules, and detailed procedures for tax calculations. It was significantly amended in 2001–2003 with additions like the new corporate profits tax section and the new simplified tax system for small business. The Code is subject to regular changes which are affected through federal laws.

The Code is designed as a complete national system for federal, regional and local taxes but excludes customs tariffs. Rules and rates of regional and local taxation must conform to the framework established by the Code. Taxes or levies not listed explicitly by the Code or enacted in violation of its specific provisions are deemed illegal and void.[1]

The Russian tax system tends to use moderate flat or regressive tax rates. It is highly centralized for a federal state and relies heavily on proceeds from oil and natural gas corporations, who themselves are mostly state owned. In 2006 the tax burden on oil companies exceeded 45 percent of net sales (compared to 12 percent in construction and 16.5 percent in telecommunications).[2] Rates for oil-related taxes and tariffs, unlike regular taxes, are set not by the Tax Code but by government decree. The Russian Ministry of Finance estimated that revenues regulated by the Tax Code accounted for 68 percent of federal revenue in 2008 fiscal year, rising to 73 percent in 2010.[3]

Individuals are supposed to pay in income tax (13 percent), land tax (0.3 percent of the land's cadastral plot which is calculated by a special formula) and vehicle tax (which is linked to the vehicle's engine power). Most small businesses are eligible for simplified taxation and can choose one of the following taxes: income tax (6 percent) or profits tax (15 percent) or unified agricultural tax (6 percent, farmers only) or tax on imputed income (calculated by a special formula, certain companies only). Corporate taxes for medium and large businesses include profits tax (20 percent), value added tax (20 percent), property tax (0-2 percent) and some other taxes like water tax and mineral tax.[4]