Yelena Minina: “Tax rates for cottage owners may change”

In her op-ed for Davydov.Index, Yelena Minina, Senior Research Associate of the Tax System Development Department, Gaidar Institute elaborates on application of increased tax rates for improper use of land.

“Strictly saying, a sharp increase in tax rates for land owners, if the land is not used properly is not a novelty. In a nutshell, the principle suggesting increased tax rates for a mismatch between what is laid in documents and on paper and the actual use of land was introduced long ago. It was done to prevent cheating because lots of different violations could arise. It is well known that agricultural lands can be divided into plots and sold off as allotments.

I think that it is not about novelties; it is a concrete issue – the rights and obligations of cottage owners – that the authorities have decided to address and check everything thoroughly. The government sees to it that the requirements which are economically advantageous to the state are complied with fully. No wonder, the issue of documentation of allotments which were registered on a temporary basis without real-estate title registration has been currently brought up. Earlier, the construction of the property on a land plot could be considered incomplete for quite a long time if, say, a door handle was not screwed in and it gave grounds for not paying a tax on house. Probably, they are going to do something about it now.

So, there is no doubt that if some cottage owners have started to use their land plots improperly, they will face increased tax rates. People have taken so far advantage of some loopholes in the legislation, so the authorities are going to do away with it,” Yelena Minina said.