Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

IMF and Taxes

In response to "IMF Should Push for Tax Collection," Nov. 15.


It is quite surprising to me that a newspaper that claims to be familiar with the Russian situation can write such an editorial, which may present the International Monetary Fund's view from 5,000 miles away, but reflects little knowledge of the situation at hand.

True, there are companies that actively avoid taxes that they could pay. But many small- and medium-sized companies simply cannot afford to follow the current tax system.

Despite official statements, taxes on profit that are near or even exceeding the actual annual profit are quite common. Companies trying to follow the rules are often hurt by competitors who decide not to and thus have significant cost advantages.

Just crying "Collect more taxes" is probably the solution involving the least amount of thinking. The problem is much more complex, and I'm afraid the current search for bank accounts that can be confiscated -- regardless of whether this is a correct policy or not -- or declaring bankruptcy will spell disaster for companies not tied to foreign mother companies with deep pockets or huge Russian enterprises with creative (and often legal) constructions to avoid doing business on Russian territory because of the high taxation here.

J?rg B?se