Sector-Specific Characteristics of Tax Crime in Russia

Anna P. Kireenko, Ekaterina N. Nevzorova, Dmitry Yu. Fedotov


The article discusses the hypothesis that fiscal crime has some sector-specific characteristics, which tend to become more pronounced as new technologies emerge and develop. These characteristics should be taken into account when devising policies targeted at fighting tax evasion. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed quantitative (the level of economic crime in Russia in general and for different types of economic activity) and qualitative characteristics of crime (structure, dynamics and nature of crime). We also conducted analysis of the correlation between these indicators and the structure of costs and financial performance of organizations. The research relies on crime statistics, which reflect the scale of tax evasion better than financial statistics (since the latter are influenced by a large number of factors and are subject to significant change even within one year). Pearson’s and Spearman’s correlation coefficients were used for verification. Sectors of economy were ranked in descending order according to the corresponding economic crime rates and loss to gross value added in the sector. The findings show that unlike the cases of tax evasion, the number of economic crimes does not closely correlate with the structure of costs. Most tax crimes and corporate tax evasion in particular are recorded in sectors with lower labour costs, social security contributions and other prime costs but with higher depreciation of fixed assets (capital intensive industries). Thus, the results of this study contradict the findings of international scholars that shadow economy is larger in highest paying industries. It is shown that the sectors with higher losses are characterized by higher crime rates, that is, the loss in many cases is connected to tax evasion and related economic crime. The research has brought to light certain sector-specific characteristics of tax evasion, which means that these characteristics should be taken into account in governance and policy-making as well as in further research on this topic.

 For citation

Kireenko A. P., Nevzorova E. N., Fedotov D. Yu. Sector-Specific Characteristics of Tax Crime in Russia. Journal of Tax Reform. 2019;5(3):249–264. DOI: 10.15826/jtr.2019.5.3.071

 Article info

Received September 15, 2019; Revised November 12, 2019; Accepted December 3, 2019


tax evasion, tax crime, economic crime, sectors of economy, shadow economy


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