Budget Tax Revenues and Losses from External Labor Migration in Russia

Maria O. Kakaulina


One of the reasons behind declining budget revenues can be external migration. This article aims to describe the methodology for estimation of tax losses and revenues from international labor migration for specific types of taxes. Changes in personal income tax revenues are estimated by using the data on the number of labor emigrants (immigrants) for specific occupations, nominal gross monthly wage of employees in this occupation in Russia, standard child tax deductions and the corresponding personal income tax rate for residents (non-residents). Changes in VAT and excise tax revenues caused by the current trends in labor migration are estimated in accordance with the structure of household consumption. The amount of tax revenues (and losses) is calculated as the product of the sum of VAT and excise tax payments made by one member of a household per year when buying goods, works and services on the territory of Russia, and the number of emigrants (or immigrants). The research uses the data provided by Rosstat, Federal Tax Service of Russia and the Analytical Centre under the Government of the Russian Federation for 2012–2017. The conclusion is made that international migration has a negative impact on the tax revenues of the country’s consolidated state budget. Although, throughout the whole of the given period, the balance of additional revenues from VAT, excise taxes and the personal income tax (PIT) on earned income and budget losses from these taxes remained positive, in absolute terms, this balance decreased significantly. Trends in international labor migration affected the balance of tax losses and revenues. Therefore, the government’s attempts to target international labor migration by reforming the tax legislation seem quite reasonable: the upcoming tax reforms will include the introduction of the concept ‘centre of vital interests’ as the second criterion of residence and equalization of the PIT rate for tax residents and non-residents. The proposed methodology can thus prove to be an effective tool for the Federal Tax Service of Russia to estimate the resulting changes in tax revenues as well as other changes related to labor migration processes.

For citation

Kakaulina M. O. Budget Tax Revenues and Losses from External Labor Migration in Russia. Journal of Tax Reform. 2019;5(3):190–203. DOI: 10.15826/jtr.2019.5.3.067

 Article info

Received August 23, 2018; Revised October 1, 2019; Accepted November 29, 2019



tax losses, tax revenues, budgetary effect, international population migration, labor migration, consumer spending, immigration, emigration


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15826/jtr.2019.5.3.067

Copyright (c) 2019 Maria O. Kakaulina

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