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However, in July there was a significantdecline in current tax receipts and increase in arrears which continued duringautumn 1997. We think that one of the reasons for such decline consists in theunderstanding by the economic agents of the softening of the government'sattitude towards tax defaulters. Softening of the government's positionmanifested itself in the absence of any tough actions with respect to thedefaulters who refused to restructure their accrued debts according to theGovernment's resolution No.254 of 5 March 1997, adoption of the ResolutionNo.928 of 4 July 1997, which was later partly revoked, which envisaged verylenient schedule for debt repayments to the budget (including the debt of thebudget organisations) and tax arrears in the fuel and energy complex and thedecision to write off arrears on fines and penalties, etc. On the whole, in1997 the Government adopted less than a dozen resolutions dealing with therestructuring of the enterprises' debts to the budget.

In the second half-year, the volume ofarrears was constantly growing in real terms. Overall real growth of the volumeof arrears during June-November constituted nearly 50 per cent. Only by the endof the year, owing to the offset money payments, it became possible to reducethe volume of arrears by about 7 per cent in real terms.

Table 6

Tax arrears to the Federal budget
(December 1996 prices) in 1997 (Rb bn)

ARREARS

1996

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

VII

VIII

IX

X

XI

XII

Overall

70533

78117

80414

77192

75198

75328

73875

84143

90838

95809

102877

109947

103551

Total deflated arrears

57886

62669

63559

60169

58035

57617

55891

63091

68247

72199

77370

82194

76647

Total arrears in percent of monthly GDP

31,3

38,8

39,9

37,8

40,2

40,4

37,5

37,90

39,30

39,11

42,87

44,51

40,61

Changes in arrears,total (per cent ).


8,3

1,4

-5,3

-3,5

-0,7

-2,9

12,9

8,2

5,8

7,2

6,2

-6,7per cent

On VAT

42058

49481

51419

49764

47864

48662

49167

55559

59110

62772

69088

73671

71032

Arrears on VAT deflated

34517

39696

40641

38790

36940

37220

37197

41659

44410

47303

51959

55075

52577

Change of arrears onVAT (per cent )


15,0

2,4

-4,6

-4,8

0,8

-0,1

12,0

6,6

6,5

9,8

6,0

-4,5per cent

On profit tax

9218

8935

9126

8575

10131

10908

10530

11354

13418

13361

13058

15257

13964

Arrears on profit tax(deflated)

7566

7168

7213

6684

7819

8344

7966

8514

10081

10068

9821

11406

10336

Change of arrears onprofit tax (per cent )


-5,3

0,6

-7,3

17,0

6,7

-4,5

6,9

18,4

-0,1

-2,5

16,1

-9,4per cent

Movement through time of the arrears to theconsolidated budget (Table7) is similar to the dynamics of the arrears to thefederal budget and, to a large extent, is being explained by the same factors.Compared with the beginning of the year, by December 1997 the real volume ofarrears increased by 27 per cent.

In 1997 offset payments of tax arrears andbudget liabilities were carried out by way of "reversed" offset payment whichstarted from the enterprises paying their tax arrears and not from thegovernment arrears as it was done earlier. Despite the fact that with the helpof the offset payments, about 25 per cent of the tax revenues have beencollected, that type of budget execution itself and insufficiently clearorganisation of the offset payments permanently led to a reduction in the taxdiscipline when taxpayers in view of the pending offset tax arrears for thebudget ones wanted to increase the volume of arrears by cutting current taxpayments.

Table 7.

Tax arrears to the consolidated budget
(in December 1996 prices) in 1997 (Rbtrillion)

AAREARS

1996

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

VII

VIII

IX

X

XI

XII

Overall

128,2

138,9

140,2

136,1

151,9

166,6

159,7

163,3

179,5

180,2

185,2

204,5

181,8

Total arrears(deflated)

105,2

111,4

110,8

106,1

117,3

127,4

120,8

122,4

134,9

135,8

139,2

152,9

134,6

Total arrears in percent of monthly GDP

57,0

69,1

70,1

66,7

74,1

80,5

74,3

73,6

76,73

73,56

77,1

82,8

71,3

Change of arrears andtotal (per cent ).


5,9per cent

-0,6per cent

-4,2per cent

10,5per cent

8,7per cent

-5,2per cent

1,3per cent

10,2per cent

0,7per cent

2,5per cent

9,8per cent

-12,0per cent

VAT arrears

55.8

66.2

68.7

67.1

69.6

73.3

73.0

77.3

81.4

84.5

91.4

96.7

91,2

VAT arrears (deflated)

45.8

53,1

54,3

52,3

53,7

56,1

55,2

57,9

61,2

63,7

68,8

72,3

67,5

VAT arrears (per cent)


16,0per cent

2,1per cent

-3,6per cent

2,6per cent

4,4per cent

-1,5per cent

4,9per cent

5,5per cent

4,1per cent

8,0per cent

5,2per cent

-6,7per cent

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