Key Issues of Taxation of the Self-Employed in the CIS Countries
Authors: Anna V. Tikhonova
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The present article examines the prospect of forming a special chapter of the Model Tax Code for the CIS countries, “Tax on Professional Income.” The relevance of this issue is explained by two circumstances—first, a growing share of self-employed citizens, among whom a significant part work outside the legal framework; and second, the possible labor migration of this category of payers between the CIS countries. As a consequence, both factors lead to the need for the formation of common approaches to taxation of self-employed individuals in the member states, codified in the form of a chapter in the Model Tax Code. The purpose of the study is to determine the key elements of the tax on professional income in the CIS countries, which should be indicated in the CIS Model Tax Code as the basic conditions and principles of taxation of self-employed citizens. In accordance with the goal, the author analyzed the tax and labor legislation of the CIS member states, as well as the associated member, the Republic of Turkmenistan. A review of legal acts showed that there is no single conceptual apparatus (“self-employment,” “selfemployed”) in the analyzed countries. This fact prevents the development of a unified approach to determining the circle of taxpayers within the special regime. National legislation has developed three approaches to taxing the self-employed. The first approach is that the self-employed are singled out into an independent category of payers with the presence of the corresponding features of taxation. The second approach consists in the absence of specific conditions of taxation in the presence of a standard individual income tax levied on a general basis. The third approach involves the formation in the construct of a number of taxes and special tax regimes of specific conditions for the taxation of the self-employed. At the end of the article, recommendations are given on the content of a special chapter of the Model Tax Code, taking into account the peculiarities of economic and social development, the state of tax administration, and the “tax” susceptibility of the population of the CIS countries. As an approach to taxation of the self-employed, it is proposed to apply the first one cited, based on the allocation of an independent category of payers.