Table Dynamic of Tax Revenues to the Federal Budget in 2006–2012 (as % of GDP) Actual collection rate As per the federal budget act Name of tax 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Revenues, total: 23.6 20.4 22.5 18.8 16.1 15.5 15.Corporate profit tax 1.9 1.9 1.8 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.VAT 5.6 6.8 5.1 5.3 5.1 5.2 5.Excise taxes 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.Customs duties 8.3 7.0 8.6 6.9 6.2 5.9 5.Mineral tax 4.1 3.4 3.9 2.5 2.5 2.3 2.Proportion of the above taxes in the federal 87.0 83.4 88.0 82.5 90.5 91.6 92.budget revenues, as % In addition, the global financial crisis has continued exerting an adverse impact on the financial standing and business activity in the real sector. It is still very likely that renewal of their operational performance, that is, bouncing back to the pre-crisis rates of production of RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks goods and services may take long, which does not at all make it certain that non-oil-and-gas tax revenues would be on the rise any time soon.
An analysis of the expenditure part of the act on the 2010-2012 federal budget of RF As concerns the dynamic of the federal budget expenditures in 2010-2012, the respective act has outlined a consistent capped-spending policy, which contrasts the recent one that would suggest the expenditure increase rate should outpace the economy’s growth rate.
Originally, the 2010-2012 federal budget blueprint implied a budget for development;
however, presented in the act, main estimates of its expenditure part suggest a continuous policy aimed at social support to the population and target subsidizing of the largest corporations and individual industries vis-a-vis curtailing investment expenditures.
It is assumed that in 2010 the federal budget expenditures should be cut by 1.8% of GDP compared with the 2009 figures. But once the 2010 expenditure volume is compared with parameters of the pre-crisis years, it appears quite significant, and it is going to be 2012 when it will catch up with relative figures of 2007-08.
Table Structure of the Federal Budget Expenditure in 2007–2012 (as % of GDP) Actual execution The act 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011* 2012* Expenditures, total: 18.1 18.3 24.7 22.9 19.5 18.including:
General public administration matters 2.5 2.0 2.1 2.of which the public debt servicing 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.National defense 2.5 2.5 3.1 2.National security and law enforcement activity 2.0 2.0 2.6 2.National economy 2.1 2.5 4.2 3.Expenditures on the social policy and social sphere 2.4 2.5 3.1 2.Interbudgetary transfers 5.8 6.5 9.2 8.Other expenditures (provisionally approved) – – – – 0.5 0.* The budget act comprises projections with regard to the 2010 expenditures in a full volume with the breakdown by items of the classifications. Meanwhile, parameters of the 2011 and 2012 expenditure obligations are presented just by marginal values. Let us note that the previous years’ format provided for a detailed stipulation in the federal budget act of assumed expenditure obligations for the three-year span, which enhanced transparency and certainty in the sphere of public financing of expenditures for the citizenry. But it is inappropriate to present a detailed breakdown in the conditions of instability of individual macroeconomic indicators in the postcrisis period.
Source: the RF Ministry of Finance, the IET calculations With the decimation of expenditures, the most notable changes vis--vis the 2009 budget execution parameters are ascribed to cuts in financing of measures in the national economy sphere and expenditures on the social policy.
More specifically, it is planned to curtail expenditures on the national economy by 1.1. p.p.
of GDP against their 2009 volume. The cuts can be explained by the fact that the biggest measures on supporting various industries in the frame of the government anti-crisis program were envisaged to be complete in 2009. A certain fraction of the measures is due to be accomplished in 2010, but in a far smaller volume.
The volumes of financing of the social policy expenditures likewise are subjected to cuts equivalent to 0.4 p.p. of GDP relative to their 2009 figures. Behind the cuts there is impleSection Monetary and Budgetary Spheres mentation of main measures on pay rises for budget employees and other social monetary allowances in 2009 by means of their advanced indexing.
It should be noted that the 2010 expenditures by item “Interbudgetary transfers” should be cut by 0.6 p.p. of GDP. Such a dynamic is explained primarily by the fall in the volume of transfers to the RF Subjects on balancing their budgets. On this background there should be an increase in transfers to the government extrabudgetary funds (to the greatest extent – to the Pension Fund) to ensure fulfillment of the earlier assumed obligations and conduct the pension reform measures.
Expenditures on general public administration matters (with account of expenditures on the public debt servicing) should also grow from 2.1% of GDP in 2009 to 2.7% of GDP in 2010. The rise is fueled chiefly by growth in newly assumed debt obligations. Relative volumes of financing across other federal budget items should remain unchanged or undergo an insignificant adjustment.
Overall, it can be ascertained that the 2010-2012 federal budget has been formed proceeding from the need to hold the budget system balanced. In the conditions of a substantial fall in budget revenues the government will have to stick to the policy of curtailing its obligations to preclude the budget deficit from rising.
2.2.5. The Medium- and Long Term Prospective Avenues of the Fiscal Policy Next decade, Russia’s tax system will face two major challenges.
First, the effective decisions on the pension reform do not warrant the pension system’s balance, unjustifiably mount pressure on the labor compensation fund and imply the need for its constant replenishment out of the federal budget. Accordingly, the tax system as a whole is in need for a certain adjustment, which should help the public finance adapted to the global process of the population ageing.
Secondly, the national economy’s advancement along the path of innovation implies contraction of the proportion the mining sector holds in the nation’s GDP. But the tax burden on the mining sector has substantially exceeded the one on other sectors. In the medium term Russia will see rental payments to the budgets in decline, which will necessitate revision of the problem of the level of tax burden on the economy and transformation of the revenue structure from main taxes.
Below, we briefly highlight on main measures that may be employed in response to the said challenges.
Pension reform Recent decisions on the national pension system overhaul– that is, federal act №212-FZ of July 24, 2009 “On insurance premiums to the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation, the Social Insurance Fund of the Russian Federation, the Federal Fund for Compulsory Medical Insurance and territorial funds of the compulsory medical insurance”, in our view, are inadequate, as they fail to solve the problem of securing the pension system’s balance in the long run, but, at the same time, drastically increase the tax burden and complicate the tax administration.
As most developed nations, Russia likewise experience the basic demographic process- namely, the population’s ageing. The negative demographic trend poses a strategic long-term challenge for Russia’s pension system.
RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks The rise in the number of pensioners in Russia from 330 per 1,000 able-bodied people in 2007 to 450 in 2020 will necessitate making a fairly complex choice:
- -either to keep expenditures on pension payments as a percentage of GDP at the level and yield with the decline of the replacement rate to 16% by 2020 (vs. 23.4% in 2007), or - to maintain the replacement rate at a socially acceptable level of some 30%, but compromise on a rise of expenditures on pension payments up to 8.2% of GDP in 2020 (ie by 3.4% of GDP vs. the 2007 figures).
As a consequence of the increase of the basic rate of pension contributions from 26% up to 34% most corporations would experience a 1.6 p.p. of GDP rise of the tax burden on the labor compensations fund. By most OECD nations’ standards the proposed insurance premium tariffs appear abnormally high. Increase of the tax burden on labor contradicts the general international trend which suggests that to boost an economy’s competitiveness, one needs to lower the tax burden on labor and capital and increase the one on consumption.
An increase of the tax burden on the labor compensation fund may result in:
- noncompetitiveness of Russia’s economy;
- fall in the official employment rate and, accordingly, in the respective contributions;
- migration of salaries and wages into the grey zone.
The reassignment of administration of pension contribution from the Federal Tax Service to the Pension Fund is explained by the need to update the respective data 4 times a year. But the need to accomplish this technical exercise could justify an increase of the burden on businesses by establishing yet another controlling agency can be questioned.
In the short run an increase of the fiscal burden on the labor market in the time of economic crisis appears a non-licet exercise. With the employment problems aggravating, one should not increase the said burden on salaries and wages of the least prosperous strata from the current 26% to 34%. The RF Minzdravsotsrazvitiya maintains it is necessary to secure a steady increase of the insurance tariff from up to 42% by 20471, which will make Russia’s economy uncompetitive. At this juncture it appears urgent to confine oneself to a moderate indexing of the UST scale, which would not increase the fiscal burden on the labor market in 2010-11.
In the medium term it is imperative to attract financial resources into the pension system to complement premiums on compulsory pension insurance plans. In addition, provided a favorable state of affairs, one should use reserve funds for this purpose. It may also become possible to consider privatization of public assets, particularly by means of their transfer to the Pension Fund of RF and non-government pension funds as current contributions by the savings component of pension plans.
To secure a long-term balance of the pension system it is also necessary to raise the pension age. While fully appreciating the complexity of the issue from the political perspective, it should be noted that this move constitutes the only solution to the problem of balancing the pension system in the long run, which would enable one to effectively increase the replacement rate.
To minimize political costs engendered by the move, it should be implemented in a gradual fashion and concern just relatively young residents.
Export duties According to the RF Minzdravsotsrazvitiya’s documents Section Monetary and Budgetary Spheres Russia’s economy restructuring in the long run is interwoven with abrogation of export duties whose existence means subsidizing the domestic mineral and energy sources producers at the expense of the mineral rent, with mineral inventories being owned by the state. Compensated by an increase of the mineral tax, the abolishment of export duties should entail a rise in domestic prices for minerals and energy sources up to the international levels. As a consequence, domestic producers will be compelled to boost resource efficiency of their production to the level of nations that import minerals and energy sources. Without this, an efficient consumption of natural resources and environmental protection would appear an unlikely prospect.
Selling their products on the domestic market under the present system, the national mineral producers pay the mineral tax, export duties and incur losses equivalent to the difference between international prices for their products and domestic ones. Accordingly, an increase of the mineral tax under the abrogation of the duty should be sufficient to compensate for the value of the export duty and benefits corporations consuming minerals and energy sources enjoy from the difference between the domestic and world prices adjusted by the fall in the volume of domestic consumption caused by contraction of demand fueled by rising domestic prices.
But, at the same time, it is understood that any drastic changes in this area are highly unlikely. Transition to taxation of mineral producers on the basis of the mineral tax should be implemented fairly gradually, so that to give mineral- and energy-source consuming corporations, as well as their consumers, a chance to modify their behavior, particularly, by means of introducing innovations.
The mineral tax In the conditions of the forecasted change in the structure of oil output, primarily an increase in the share of new regions subject to the tax holiday regime, as well as in the proportion of “exhausted” wells subject to a reduced rate, revenues from the mineral tax may fall.
This should be taken into account while pursuing a long-term fiscal policy.
The VAT 1. Regulation and simplification of the VAT refund procedures in the conditions of application of zero rate and other cases. More specifically, to prove the fact of export it is necessary to set a sole attribute - that is, the good’s crossing the customs border of RF.
2. In the countries practicing VAT, most taxpayers not engaged in complex transactions find this tax easy to calculate and pay. To this effect, one needs to modify procedures for filling out invoices and unify procedures with regard to granting the right for tax rebate.
3. It is appropriate to introduce a uniform VAT rate at a level which would ensure that the budget revenues would remain unchanged or grow. Transition to the uniform rate would help simplify administration of the tax, albeit lower progressiveness of distribution of the tax across the population income groups (in an assumption of shifting of the tax on consumers). Compensation for such groups’ losses should be secured at the expense of the respective budget expenditures.
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