Further taxation cuts are currently the main priority for the Russian government. This was announced at a government meeting today devoted to tax reforms by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov. He also said that in 2003 taxation may account for less than 31% of GDP, while in 2000 this figure was 34%.
Mr Kasyanov said that steps taken in the tax reform process have already brought about significant changes, which will have a positive influence on the Russian economy. He pointed out that a single level of income taxation was set at 13% in 2001 and this has had a beneficial effect on the state budget. In 2003 turnover tax will be canceled as they have a negative effect on business activity. In 2004, as expected, sales tax will be canceled.
However, the prime minister said the tax reform is much more than just taxation cuts. He expressed his regret that there is still no real progress in improving tax collection, especially of value added tax. Furthermore, Mr Kasyanov pointed out the need to define more exactly the system of allocating taxes in order to keep a balanced budget at all levels.
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