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LUXURY TAX - INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE

So far, Russian lawmakers have two main problems: what to call "luxury" and how to deal with schemes of evading the payment of the new tax. 

For example, according to Olga Kryshtanovskaya, head of the Center for the Study of the Elite of the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, those who earn more than 60 thousand rubles a month can already be considered rich. "In this case, a progressive tax will hit the middle class," the expert notes. "For some, Lada Kalina is also a luxury," agrees with Kryshtanovskaya, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Budget and Taxes Andrei Makarov. 

In order not to pay the luxury tax, the owners of expensive cars or airplanes do not even need to register their property in offshores, the Deputy Minister of Finance Sergey Shatalov anticipates possible schemes of tax evasion. “Will the property be re-registered to foundations or legal entities?” he asks. 

So far, however, Russian lawmakers are in no hurry to turn to Western experience. For example, the US luxury tax, introduced in 1991, was eliminated two years later. The demand for luxury goods was, as economists put it, elastic, but their production was not.

For example, consumers began to go on vacation to the coast of Panama, where yachts bought there were moored. At the same time in Florida 13 thousand employees of the shipbuilding industry were out of work. 

The tax on expensive cars retained in the United States lasted until 2005. In 2009, it was proposed to introduce a luxury tax on expensive planes (from $ 500,000), yachts (from $ 200,000), cars (from $ 60,000) and jewelry (from $ 20,000). However, despite the fact that the US economy was in the worst recession since the 1930s, the law was not passed.

According to the Forbes rating, France has the strictest tax regime. For example, the maximum income tax rate there is 52%. For comparison: in Russia the rate is 13%, in Finland and Belgium it reaches 53%, in Bulgaria - 10%, and in Qatar and the UAE this tax does not exist at all. 

The luxury tax, which is in France and some other countries, brings the treasury $ 2.6 billion annually, said the French economist Eric Pinschet. However, from 1998 to 2006, $ 125 billion flowed out of the French economy. In 2006, 843 billionaires chose to change their place of residence.