It was proposed to differentiate unified agricultural tax rate

A few days prior to the May holidays, The State Duma received a draft federal law on the differentiation of the unified agricultural tax (UAT) rate in the rage of 0-6%.

This tax regime is effective on the federal level. However, the subjects of the Federation are proposed to implement a differentiated rate of this tax. Preferential tax rate can be introduced on the basis of the type of agricultural produce, average number of employees and marginal revenue. At the same time, no limitation on its effect is envisaged: the rate can be lowered for one or several consequent tax periods.

From our point of view, the need in differentiation of the UAT rate is long overdue because farming in Russia is more favorable in some regions than in other which under similar type of activity determines a different level of revenue proceeds by taxpayers. That is why, this factor should be taken into consideration in taxation of revenues received by agricultural producers.

Moreover, differentiation rate and its zero level are different measures. In the first case, one can talk about an objective factor in determination of tax burden. In the second case, we talk about "tax holidays" which require investigation of their sphere of application and, to our mind, are inappropriate due to the fact that over last three years there are revenue growth dynamics from unified agricultural tax (from Rb 3.7bn in 2012 to Rb 4.7bn at 2014 year-end).

At the same time, there should be incentives because the number of subjects applying UAT at 2013 year-end does not exceed 100,000. However, in 2011 this number was 50,000 more. However, the tax rate should differ in the range of 3-6% in order to stimulate taxpayers to engage in socially important and needed types of activity in the sphere of agriculture, because in this case there are preconditions for tax avoidance.

UAT is originally a preferential tax regime. 6% rate is applied to taxpayer's income which makes this regime more favorable even for a simplified system. In this context, excessive reduction of tax burden means privilege overlapping which contradicts effective taxation principle. That is why, the character of proposed changes in the event of their implementation should be moderate.

Vladimir Gromov – candidate of science (Economics), senior researcher, IAER RANEPA