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Ministry Of Finance Dismisses Proposal Regarding Miniscule Tax Arrears


The tax authorities are continuing to ignore the principles of economics by regularly sending invoices for tax arrears of such tiny sums as one kopeck, 19 kopecks, and so forth. The cost of sending such a notice by mail is a minimum of 15 rubles, and adding to this expense the costs of paying the tax authorities’ employees to do such work and the cost of office supplies, the total cost of notifying a taxpayer of one of these small arrears turns out to be a minimum of 100 rubles.

Business owners concerned about budgetary problems are asking the Ministry of Finance to stop this self-defeating practice and to simplify the procedure for informing taxpayers of minor tax arrears. However, the Ministry of Finance dismissed this proposal. The deputy director of the Ministry of Finance’s Department of Tax and Customs-Tariff Policy Sergei Razgulin stated that the Tax Code clearly outlines the procedure for recovering arrears and does not provide for “variations in the system for taxpayers of paying arrears or in the system for tax authorities of collecting arrears, regardless of the amount of the arrears or the expenses incurred by collecting them.” In other words, according to the law, tax collectors are obligated to send notifications of payment due to companies in any and all circumstances.

Changing the position of the Ministry of Finance and the Federal Tax Service on this matter seems very unlikely.

Tax consultants agree that the current situation is absurd and disadvantageous to both the ministry and to the tax authorities. The issue can only be resolved by changing the legislation to establish limits for sums being declared and paid to be rounded off to a reasonable number (for example, to 100 rubles for organizations). Provisions would also need to be added to the legislation for rounding off amounts recorded to employees’ personal records.

The Prosecutor's Office, the Audit Chamber, the president or the Presidential Administration may be the best source to propose such amendments to streamline tax collections now that the Ministry of Finance has shown that they will not do so.

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