Tax burden in the Russian Federation: a comparative analysis point of view

Liudmila N. Lykova


The article discusses the existing approaches to estimations of tax burden in Russia in comparison with the European countries. Calculations are based on the macroeconomic approach to tax bases estimations used by the European statistical service. Tax burden is evaluated by the implicit tax rates, which are the ratio of the paid taxes and macroeconomic valuation of the respective tax base. The article examines some issues in the allocation of the tax burden on corporate income, labour, and consumption; thus, the implicit tax rates on corporate income, on labour, and on final consumption in Russia and the European countries are examined. The problem of significance of the total amount of tax burden and its allocation between different categories of tax bases (corporate income, personal income, final consumption) is formulated. It is shown that tax burden at different bases varies sufficiently and differs from the European analogues. Tax burden on corporate income and labour is not very high in comparison with most European countries. But the gap between the statutory and the implicit tax rates on corporate income is too small to provide sufficient incentives to economic actors (for long-term investments). Tax burden on labour mostly lies on employers and creates a noticeable imbalance on the national labour market. Tax burden on consumption is very close to the highest European levels (estimated without taxes associated with exported energy products). It is shown that if the “exported part” of indirect taxes is taken into account, the burden will move to an extremely high level. The environmental tax burden in the Russian Federation is very low in comparison with the EU countries, and it is mostly created by resource taxes instead of energy taxes, as in Europe.


tax burden; implicit tax rate; effective average tax rate; tax competitiveness; tax burden on corporate income; tax burden on consumption

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