Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 88

A meeting of experts took place in Moscow on April 28 at which Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Shatalov presented the government’s new draft tax code. The draft, which was prepared in less than a month, aims to cut the number of taxes in force from more than 300 to about 30, while increasing from 20 to 22 percent the main Value Added Tax rate. (Kommersant-daily, 29 April, RTR, 28 April)

The code’s legal inconsistency was bluntly addressed at the conference by Yevgeny Timofeev, a member of the Russian Tax Law Association and the head lawyer at the Kommersant publishing house. Timofeev said the code has been drafted by economists who are not sufficiently aware of the legal side of the issue and the need to harmonize the tax code with the Civil Code and other legislation. Aleksei Simanovsky, from the Russian Central Bank, was also critical, arguing that conducting tax reform at the present juncture is like trying to reform the public health system during an epidemic. Aman Tuleev, Minister for CIS Affairs, claimed that the increase in the VAT rate will violate agreements with other CIS states and harm inter-state trade.

Russia, NATO Said to Inch Closer to Agreement.