Natalia Kornienko: ‘In the final analysis, everything will be paid for by the consumer’

Natalia Kornienko, Head of the Tax System Development Department, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, made her comments on this tax proposal for the Main News program on RBC-TV television channel.

One of the main news stories that day focused on the proposal, put forth by the Association of Internet Trading Companies (AITC) which is comprised of big Russian retailers, to replace the existing fees from expensive foreign parcels by a single fee of 15%, regardless of the value of the goods. The AITC believes that such a measure would create conditions for fair competition. It should be noted that this tax proposal is softer than the initial one, which recommended the imposition of a single fee of 20%. According to mass media, the proposal will be analyzed by the Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation, the Gaidar Institute, and the Russian Post company.

However, Natalia Kornienko, one of the authors of ‘A Review of the State of the Electronic Trading Market in the RF’, is already convinced that this tax proposal lacks sufficient detail. She believes that ‘foreign companies have been outside the scope of the Russian taxation system and outside the scope of our fiscal system, and such a situation is here to stay. In order to create conditions for fair competition, more sophisticated approaches should be applied. In the final analysis, everything will be paid by the customer. Yes, we must protect our national producer, but the proposed measure by no means protects it’.