NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Vera Kononova

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Working Papers

December 2009Recent Russian Debate on Moving from VAT to Sales Taxes and Its Global Implications
with John Whalley: w15615
We discuss recent policy debate in Russia on moving from the present value added tax to a sales tax structure covering households, government and exports. What is distinctive in this debate is the range and nature of problems identified with the VAT, most of which stem from its multistage credit-invoice mechanism. These include false credit and refund claims, delays and difficulties in obtaining legitimate input credits and refunds reflecting responses of tax authorities to false claims, difficulties for large firms dealing with small firms, and resulting uneven effective tax rates between energy and manufacturing sectors. For the Russian economy being heavily dependent on oil and gas exports and seeking diversification, the VAT effectively places industrial companies at a significant disa...

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