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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

New Minister Intends to Automate Tax Collection

Former head of the Moscow Tax Inspectorate Gennady Bukayev will now be responsible for tax collection for the country as a whole. By bolstering the Tax Ministry with a figure who has a long track record of information gathering, the government has shown that it's eager to know everything about its citizens.

Though Bukayev comes from the party nomenklatura, he has earned a reputation for competence on the job, which in 1998 helped attract the attention of Tax Minister Georgy Boos, who managed to get Bukayev transferred from Bashkortostan in southern Russia to Moscow.

While serving in Bashkortostan, Bukayev helped found the local tax service, which he headed virtually from its inception in 1992.

While serving as the head of the Bashkir Tax Inspectorate, Bukayev introduced - "not without difficulty since the ill-disposed were ever present," as Boos noted - an automated system of recording taxpayers and their incomes

Bukayev's system is based on a unified data base - compiled from information submitted by all the different tax bodies - on taxpayers, their incomes and their real estate and personal assets.

Equipped with this information, Bashkir tax officials can not only calculate how much tax a person owes the state, but also compare how much the taxpayer earns with what he or she has spent on major purchases.

Taxpayers didn't come to accept Bukayev's methods overnight. It took years for them to understand that tax collectors had gotten smarter.

Upon arriving at the tax inspectorate to submit their declaration, residents of Bashkortostan would often be told by the reviewing inspector what income they had "forgotten" to declare.

Soon after the system was introduced, Bashkir tax officials even began to complete tax forms themselves, and then send them to the taxpayers. However, this experiment, though sanctioned by Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov, sidestepped federal legislation.

Bukayev came to Moscow specifically to continue the Bashkir experiments by first applying them to the capital and, in the near future, to the rest of the country.

Boos says that in just a few months he and Bukayev succeeded in setting up an automated data processing center for the Moscow Tax Inspectorate, which oversees the city and the surrounding Moscow region.

Former Tax Minister Alexander Pochinok said the Moscow inspectorate showed its effectiveness during the parliamentary and presidential elections by allowing the Central Election Commission to verify the tax declarations submitted by candidates.

In his new post as head of the Tax Ministry, Bukayev is expected to implement his program throughout the country. The State Duma has already received for review a draft law calling for the Bashkir tax experiment to be applied to another region.

Pochinok himself has announced on several occasions that in a little over a year taxpayers will no longer have to fill out tax declarations. Instead, tax authorities will be able to do all the work themselves. If anyone has the type of experience required to fulfill this promise, that person is Bukayev.


BUKAYEV, Gennady Ivanovich

Born: Sept. 15, 1947

Graduated: 1971 from Ufa Petroleum Institute

1978-1980: Studied in the Sverdlovsk Communist Party higher school

1980-1985: Worked in the Communist Party's Bashkortostan Region Committee

1985-1990: First secretary of the Communist Party's Belebei City Committee

1992-1995: Head of the State Tax Inspectorate for the Republic of Bashkortostan

1995-1998: Deputy to the state assembly of the Republic of Bashkortostan

1998-Thursday: Head of the Moscow Tax Inspectorate