Natalia Kornienko, Head of Tax System Development Department of the Gaidar Institute, spoke live at “Radio 1” as an expert in tax payments and awareness of citizens on their budget tax duties.
A few days ago, Federal Tax Service (FTS) reminded citizens that a property tax payment campaign has started and the deadline for payment of these taxes by every owner of land, houses, apartments and rooms, cottages, garages and parking space expires on December 2. As Vladimir Vakhrushev, anchor of “Samoe vremya” program, recalled that as from last year, Russians are allowed to pay taxes not only for themselves but also for their relatives. Is it necessary to confirm their relationship with those whom they  pay for?
Natalia Kornienko commented: “It is not necessary to confirm relations with a tax payer, the only thing that I would recommend to specify the person that the payment is made for and his/her tax number and type of tax in the section: “designation of payment” or use special service of FTS for receiving required information. According to expert, this opportunity provided by FTS is sufficiently logical: it is not important who made the payment, it is important that budget liability of this person was settled.
People start paying property tax from the age of 18. Are citizens fully prepared to shoulder this burden at this age? “This is normal,” says Natalya Kornienko. “When you become fully capable, cease to be supported by your parents, you must provide for yourself in some way and, accordingly, take up the burden of owning property,” you must remember that there is no provision about the age of taxpayer as such in the Tax Code of the Russian Federation but according to Article 107 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation, a person who has reached the age of 16 may be brought to tax liability.
However, what needs to be done if taxpayer does not have a personal profile in the tax agency website and is not aware of his duties related to tax payment? «If you know that you own certain property and you have not received any tax notification within a one year period, then, compared to practice of previous years you are recommended to visit your tax agency and request required payment documents. Thus, citizens who did not receive notification from FTS should see to it and show initiative”, said Natalia Kornienko.
However, it is not always that young people having reached the age of legal majority are well aware of the requirement to pay taxes, for instance, for their share in the family apartment. Consequently, they may not know that they have to visit tax agency and find out their obligations.
Natalia Kornienko contemplated: “Children growing up in families know tax situation. Charges have been increased, now this is already a sufficient burden for citizens, therefore, such issues are discussed in the family”.
However, in fact, there is a different category of citizens who have poor knowledge about their tax obligations, about dates when they have to pay taxes, their amount, frequency and consequences of non-payment. These are children who leave orphanages and enter into adulthood. Either they have the right to get their own housing or they retained housing that belonged to their family.
Expert of the Gaidar Institute said: “These children are little savvy in matters related to ownership of their property and requirement to pay taxes. This is the real problem. Then the question arises: why do we still lack a comprehensive course, for example, for high school students, which would provide basic knowledge on taxes and citizens’ duties? This is a question for the education system» according to Natalia Kornienko.
 No doubt, tax services could also issue an instruction booklet, deliver it to every taxpayer to prevent additional workload on schoolchildren. However, Natalia Kornienko thinks that tax service can partly contribute to raising citizens’ awareness on the requirement to pay taxes prior to the start of declaration or tax payment campaign by installing relevant information billboards in the residential areas. The question is different: if a person does not know that he must pay a tax, he will pass by such a billboard, his attention will not focus on required information. “Therefore, perhaps such courses are not needed by everyone. However, those citizens who may find themselves beyond the information realm, namely, graduates of orphanages, need to be taught legal literacy in advance, ”the expert summarizes.