Unified income tax will be introduced but income statements will remain

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About 80% of Belarusians will pay more taxes next year. A unified income tax will be introduced in Belarus then. It will total 12%. Now Belarusians pay from 9% to 30% depending on their income. According to the deputy Minister of Finance Andrei Harkavets, the unification will reduce the losses of the country’s budget. An economist Leanid Zlotnikau has also agreed that the Belarusian budget will benefit from such changes. However, in his opinion, it will happen due to the fact that the average income tax used to be 10% in Belarus. Now it will increase by 2%:

Leanid Zlotnikau: “The average rate of taxation was about 10% or a bit more. Now it will total 12%. The budget will benefit from it”.

According to Mr. Zlotnikau, about 80% of our population will start paying more. The reform is for the good of a small number of well-to-do bureaucrats, thinks the economist.

Leanid Zlotnikau: “The change is made for bureaucrats. They receive better than average salaries now. Some specialists also do. It will reduce their taxes and there is an example of social injustice about it”.

At the same time, Leanid Zlotnikau thinks that there are positive facets in the innovation. First, the taxing system will be simplified. Second, the shadow economy will be revealed. The headmaster of Moscow high economy school Evgenii Yasin also sticks to the idea. A unified income tax of 13% has existed in Russia since 2001. According to the Moscow specialist, the unified income tax was also useful in Russia because the majority of the population do not have to make income statements now.

Evgenii Yasin: “It was useful as more taxes started being collected and part of the shadow economy was revealed. The collection of signatures was simplified because it was no loner necessary to make income statements for the majority of the population. Unified income taxes are simply added in institutions dealing with the distribution of wages”.

However, the press secretary of the Ministry of Taxation Syarhei Shkut said that the system of income statements should remain in Belarus but it will be changed a little.

Syarhei Shkut: “Income statements will remain. The system will be changed a little bit and will deal with benefits more – what benefits people get, who gets them, etc. The difference will be in the fact that information used to be sent to us by tax agents. No it will concern money made abroad more”.

According to the Belarusian Ministry of Statistics and Analysis, an average Belarusian’s wage was 923 thousand roubles in July 2008. Such citizens pay from 9% to 12% of their income now. All of them will have to pay 12% as soon as the unified income tax is introduced – this will total 110 thousand roubles. Thus, an average Belarusian will have to pay the state more than now.

Let us remind you, that the President approved the preliminary draft of the next year’s budget on August 15. According to it, the tax income will be the same for all Belarusian citizens in 2009 – 12%.