Moscow, March 12 – Being in the “gray” zone of paying taxes in Russia is now difficult and useless, sooner or later you will have to get out of the shadows, especially bloggers, Olga Daineko, an expert at the Financial Literacy Center at NIFI at the Ministry of Finance of Russia, told the News Agency.
The Moscow Central Committee of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation announced, on Tuesday, the opening of a criminal case on charges of tax evasion against fitness blogger Valeria Chekalina, known by the pseudonym Lerchik, and her husband. According to investigators, from July 2020 to July 2022, Chekalina, being an individual entrepreneur and using a simplified taxation system with an income limit of 150 million rubles per year, did not switch to the standard one, although her income exceeded this limit. The total amount of unpaid taxes to the treasury is estimated at 300 million rubles.
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According to Daineko, the digitization of the tax system and the transformation of legislation dictate new rules of the game, especially for those who work in the online space – they also need to pay taxes on their income. When discussing why it is necessary for bloggers to pay taxes, Daineko points out that, first, paying taxes is a constitutional obligation, failure to pay is equal to breaking the law, and breaking the law is fraught with punishment (from fines to imprisonment).
The expert reports that taxes allow you to receive social guarantees: medicine, education, pension and social benefits, as well as improving the infrastructure of residence and much more. At the same time, there is another, no less important aspect – now it is becoming more and more difficult not to pay taxes.
The expert also notes that tax evasion is now unprofitable, the tax system in the Russian Federation provides many options for legal optimization, and the tax burden is affordable. “The main thing is to choose a tax system that suits you,” the expert adds. She points out that there are several options for filers to pay taxes: as an individual (personal income tax at 13% for residents or 30% for non-residents), as self-employed (professional income tax (PIT) at 4% and 6%) or as a sole proprietor (choose one). The three tax systems: OSNO, STS (income or income minus expenses), or NPA).
According to Daineko, it is not worth delaying the legalization of activities: sooner or later, responsibility for such negligence will come – you can not only lose your source of income, but you will not be able to expand your activities, since large clients and brands prefer to work and pay officially. “So, sooner or later, you’re going to have to step out of the shadows and still have to make the decision,” she adds. In addition, according to the expert, the existing taxation options are not only a “heavy burden”, but also an opportunity to receive preferences from the state from the official status of an individual as a taxpayer.
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