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Who is to blame that the Russians were insensitive in terms of tax control? And what do the state to raise the level of tax consciousness among its citizens?
"in Russia we Have no sense of the taxpayer, that is you somehow a little interested in where to spend money," — said in early March, the head of the audit chamber and former Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin. And no civil society interest in how to implement national goals, it is difficult to achieve high results, he added. Who is to blame that the Russians were insensitive in terms of tax control? What distinguishes us more conscious people in other countries? And most importantly, what do the state to raise the level of tax consciousness among its citizens?
Kudrin in trend
Alexei Kudrin quite a trend in recent years. Both the developed and the developing countries gradually attract its own citizens to monitor the budget against the stage of the formation before spending. Russia, at first glance, not in last place. According to the International budget partnership, from 2006 to 2017 (for 2018 not yet published) the open budget index increased from 47 to 72 points out of a possible 100. "It is as the fact, and about the timeliness of placement of the main budget documents on the Internet for information of the citizens, — says the project Manager "Naloge" Basil Kislenko. — Also important is the extent to comprehensively set out and available information, taking into account the average level of "end user".
However, the same organization expects another indicator — the level of public participation in the processes of formation and control of budget execution. Here, our results are worse: at the end of 2017 Russia scored 13 points out of 100. It's certainly better than that of Russia (7 points) or Turkey (0 points), but worse than New Zealand (59 points), South Korea (39 points) or Georgia (22 points).
to Blame a troubled past
Here is the answer why the Russians do not have the feelings of the taxpayer. "The feeling of a taxpayer is derived from the sense of involvement of the citizen in state Affairs, says the lawyer of the law office "Kazakov and partners" Elena Muratova. — If citizens can influence decision-making on spending of certain budget funds, then there can arise the feeling of a taxpayer". But today we have no such possibility, so it makes no sense to study, where did the budget. "This is one of the main reasons for the lack of interest of citizens in budget spending, at both the Federal and local level," said a senior risk Manager IR "Algo Capital" Vitaly Manzhos. Moreover, this problem arose a very long time.
to Blame the Mongol yoke, the lawyer and member of the philosophical society of wounds Rustam Chernov. "Before the invasion of the Mongols, Russian principalities were developed in policy of the European type, they had everything that is now present in the European tradition: democracy, public office, taxation system," says Chernov.
Under the yoke of the power structure is changing: now the princes are assigned to the Horde, depending on how effective they are in collecting tribute from the population. The population gets used to hide assets and deceive the authorities.
To replace the Golden Horde came to the Moscow Kingdom (the rise of which is due to the fact that Ivan Kalita received the right to collect tribute from all the Russian land), then the revolution with its requisitioning and collectivization, the Soviet regime, where there was virtually no private ownership. "Since the beginning of the XIII century, Russian people just do not have the ability to realize that taxes are a natural consequence of public cooperation and cohabitation on the same territory within a single state," — said Chernov. He adds that "the Mongolian tradition of power" still exists in Russia today. Therefore, in order to reverse the situation, it is important to change the state of the device, passing in the distribution of the budget funds in the hands of the government.
But maybe it's time to move on from reality, "Pay taxes and sleep well" the next stage is when a person responsible for their own tomorrow. How to do it?
Quote Federal budget is not for everyone
Speaking about the social control of the state budget, it is difficult to get around the US example. "About 9/10 of the working time of Congress is spent on work related to the approval and control of execution of the Federal budget, says partner FBK Legal, Alexander Ermolenko. — Members have their own very powerful analytic center for the analysis of the draft budget, and the Executive power literally have to "rip" each article".
as for the "secret" budget items, they may not be disclosed when publishing, but not under consideration in the Congress to hide the contents of any articles from members impossible. "The number of "secret" articles is minimal, and the possibility of "reprogramming" of allocations: if the budget includes a carrier, at the stage of budget execution, it cannot "change" 30 tanks and 50 fighter aircraft," — says Ermolenko.
In Russia the Parliament in the formation of the Federal budget fulfills rather a role, says the managing Director of macroeconomics "Expert RA" Anton tabah. It is hardly possible to control directly from the population, because it is almost not involved in filling the Federal Treasury is the main funding comes from the largest exporters.
However, the control of the Federal budget by the population and not needed. "Federal projects are difficult to monitor, says the Tabs. — We are not able to assess how adequate the costs, such as Syria and other geopolitics. But to evaluate the cost of tile paving in the state."
So the question that the money spent should not go to the Duma and to the mayor. "By the way, in Moscow more than half of the budget is formed at the expense of personal income tax, taxes on property and transport. To this figure approaching and some other regions", — says Tabah.
power to the Soviets!
So the desire Kudrin that the Russians had a broken heart for the execution of national projects, not quite real. "For the education of the senses to conduct an experiment in civilian control over the spending at least at the local level", — said Elena Muratova. "From the point of view of the interests of the taxpayers, it is important to challenge the gradual formation of a sense of responsibility and ownership of the taxpayers to the development of their environment — home, neighborhood, district, city or village," says partner, head of CIS tax and legal, KPMG in Russia and the CIS Donat of Podniek.
For this, according to Podniek, it is important to develop simple and accessible information environment, awareness of the challenges facing the education (district or village), the tasks solved at the expense of the collected taxes, and development programs to which taxpayers can join to meet these challenges. Help and cancel the imposition of a variety of Central services: for example, it is necessary to give parents to choose the provider of school meals, puts Muratov.
the characteristics of the national consciousness
Upset regarding irresponsible Russians, Alexei Kudrin meant that the citizens of some other countries are much more responsible attitude to their right of control over budget expenditures. What distinguishes these countries from Russia?
Certainly not the fact that their citizens are happy to pay taxes. No one likes to part with their money, so the collection of taxes, sometimes quite high, rests largely on the understanding that in case of evasion of the punishment will be very severe. So the problem of tax evasion is not completely resolved in any country. However, in addition to the forced responsibility to pay taxes these countries have something else in common.
"If we look at the countries where citizens have a strong sense of the taxpayer, we will see that it or a small area of the country with a small population, such as the Scandinavian countries, or States with a clear federalism and self-government developed, such as Germany and the United States," — says Tabah.
for Example, the content of local sections of exemplary German roads rests on the shoulders of local residents. "If the municipality does not have enough funds to pay for the repair of the road, the residents pay this money out of pocket, says financial Advisor Elena Kazakevich. — Is not the most effective system of tracking of budgetary funds at the local level? A resident paid their taxes, knowing that some of them went to the local budget, but the local budget has no funds. The question arises: where did they go?"
In countries with high tax culture of citizens generally and the tax burden is quite high.
Typical examples are the Scandinavian countries. High taxes are returned to citizens a high degree of social protection. On the one hand, it brings together people with high taxes, and on the other encourages them to be attentive to what their money is being spent. The low level of tax culture, on the contrary, typical for countries where people do not rely on the state and solve their problems at the expense of the money they have left after taxes.
the Long arm of Uncle Sam
Special discussion deserve US. This country is often cited as an example when talking about responsible taxpayers. The tax system of this country there is a significant specificity.
"In the United States every citizen is obliged once a year to file a tax return and pay calculated on the basis of its taxes, — says Vitaly mangos. In General this is similar to how in Russia, pay taxes at individual entrepreneurs". This is fundamentally different from the Russian practice, where the income tax of the employee paid by the employer.
"In the USA everyone pays their taxes himself. And a clear idea of how much money takes from his pocket Uncle Sam", — said General Director of audit company "Confidence" Maxim Smooth-Rodionov. "Of course, the feeling of a taxpayer citizen better developed where the taxes he pays himself and not his employer", — said Director of business development fiscal decisions "ATOL" Yulia Rusinova.
does this Mean that the consciousness of Russians will increase if we begin to pay for taxes? It's not so simple.
Each pays for himself
first, the system is quite burdensome for citizens. "Self preparation of tax returns with a tax deduction often seems quite difficult, says mangos. — It requires the involvement of tax consultants and paying their fees. In addition, such a scheme requires from the citizen a fair amount of financial discipline and financial planning for timely and complete fulfillment of tax obligations to the state."
the System that exists in Russia, it is an effective and convenient both for the employer and for the employee, almost unanimously confirmed by the interviewed Banks.ru experts. After all, the reality on the consciousness of citizens affects not only and not so much who pays taxes — the employer or employee. For example, in Germany, as in Russia, the worker receives a salary, has "cleansed" from taxes. "However, the employee also receives a so-called map of wages, which prescribes what amounts are deducted from the employee's salary and where they are going — to Federal, regional or local budgets", — draws the attention of Elena Kazakevich.
"there is No direct relationship between the tax system and the consciousness of citizens, — the partner of FBK Legal, Alexander Ermolenko. — Systems might not differ fundamentally. The difference, oddly enough, lies in the political arena. That is, we can fix the differences are not at the stage of collecting taxes, but mostly on the stage, further interaction between citizens and the state, receiving state services, control over the actions of the government, political and non-political associations, activity of the parliamentary parties".
But what specific actions would help Russians to cultivate the sense of the taxpayer?
the Control and high-tech
First of all, an important multilevel structure of the tax. "In Germany, about 40% of tax payments are credited to the budgets of areas and settlements. In Italy, the tax on industrial activity, real estate, and a number of other refers to the local taxation" — lists of Yuliya Rusinova.
Another effective measure is the introduction of targeted taxation. Its essence is that for some types of tax the citizen has a choice where to send their money. For example, in some countries of Western Europe there is a Church tax, whose funds are directed in favor of a particular religious faith operating in the country, at the request of the taxpayer. And in Iceland, people have another additional choice to Fund a religious organization or University. In Russia, selective taxes could work at the local level, giving citizens the opportunity to send part of the funds purposefully, for example, the equipment of children's playgrounds or repair porches, believes Anton Tabah.
the Target or from a common boiler, it is essential that the spending budget is carried out strict control. At all levels, including from the media. "Abroad, there are sites where taxpayers can find the lists of implemented programmes and projects that were financed from the budget of the city, region or state. In Russia such events are rarely covered fully," — said Elena Muratova.
However, for effective control of budget spending is a civil activity is not enough, need more specific technologies. For example, machine processing of a large volume of unstructured data. "This treatment should identify the procurement procedure with distorted names, to simplify the analysis of information and to help the expert community to highlight the various violations", — said Yulia Rusinova.
Impossible to monitor and no limit to the transparency of all cash flows. "Will not be neglected the money — not the theft," — said the head of the online store "anchor 24" Artem Matveev. According to him, there are no technical obstacles in order to make transparent the Bank accounts of all state and municipal organizations. "All the technology necessary for direct addressing of taxes, is already there: smart contracts, blockchain, big data Analytics and so on — says Matveev. — It is clear that this is a sharp turn, requires a powerful political will. But now banks could offer organizations interested in maintaining transparent accounting, such as NGOs and homeowners, "transparent" personal accounts. This low-cost step would to build appropriate transparency standards for the conduct of collective economic activity, which ignore the state and municipal sphere would have been unthinkable".
"most of the transactions now in the public sector, painless be transferred with the help of modern information and financial technologies in a voluntary and transparent format. Without any revolutions, street protests and riots," — said Artem Matveev.
In Russia, many already have
Remember the open budget index, which was discussed in the beginning of the article? "In Russia the system of laws allows you to obtain a lot of information, for example, officials are obliged to disclose information about their income and so on, — says the head of the tax practice of law firm of BMS Law Firm Denis Zaitsev. Is not a question of the quality of laws in Russia, and in Europe, there are mechanisms to examine the articles of the state budget, the movement of budgetary funds".
"Over the years we witnessed (and whether we noticed or not) that around us formed a complete infrastructure, which can be implemented in a process-awareness, management and control of "public Finance", — said Vasily. "Nalogi". Is the portal "open government", the portal "Russian public initiative", official sites of financial entities with implemented feedback functionality, support programme for local initiatives, territorial public self-government, the project "national budget" and more." In addition, Russia has already introduced a program called "proactive budgeting", adds Vitaliy mangos.
Theoretically a lot is already there, but is in practice officials accountable to the people, not only in front of superiors? And whether the public was willing to strictly monitor public spending?
"I Think for our country, this task is hardly feasible, says Maxim Smooth-Rodionov. — On the one hand, the Russians inherent in paternalism, excessive hope for the state, and with another — indeed, many people simply do not understand how and where they pay. And for the government, sure, there's no need to instill a "sense of the taxpayer". It's not just attention to the spending budget, it is rather a reflection of a certain way of thinking and worldview. Thinking and Outlook of free, responsible and independent people."
what to grow in us a "sense of the taxpayer" — the problem is unrealistic, agrees and Alexander Ermolenko. "While we rather do the opposite: the state is deeply interested in social parasitism — so less demand, otherwise, you will have much more to try, after all, true citizens, taxpayers, much more demanding, — said the expert.
— Not interested in the new approach, and we ourselves, as the control is large, moreover, a permanent public work to which we are unaccustomed. In addition, having something to change in this issue, we will not be able to stop. In all countries and this led to the emergence of real politics and competition in the sphere of the state, which does not give us all peace of mind. And it's hard to say who is more afraid — the state or citizens."
Milena BAKHVALOVA, Banki.ru
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