Russia wants to receive taxes from e-commerce, and their size should be coordinated with Belarusian and Kazakh partners, said Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking at the APEC Business Summit in Beijing.
"The volume of e-commerce is very large, it is constantly growing. Of course, the state must ensure its interests, and fiscal policy must correspond to the level of development of this segment of trade and the requirements of this business," the president said.
He stressed that in Russia the level of taxation of e-commerce "should not differ significantly from the practices adopted in other countries." The level of taxation of e-commerce should be synchronized within the framework of the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union, which will take effect on January 1, 2015, Putin is sure. "If there are some numbers in Russia, others in Kazakhstan, and third in Belarus, then all business will move either to Kazakhstan or Belarus," the Russian president said.
“We are now doing this work with our colleagues, but we will do it in a balanced way, so as not to inflict unreasonably strong blows on business, but, on the contrary, to leave a favorable level of work for it, but to ensure the fiscal interests of the state,” Putin said.
No plans for adjusting the taxation of online commerce have been previously reported. Experts from AKIT (Association of Electronic Commerce Companies) suggest that this is about changing the rules for duty-free import of goods, including purchases of Russians in foreign online stores.
Currently in Russia, a duty of 30% is charged on monthly items with a total value of more than 1 thousand euros or weighing more than 31 kg. The Ministry of Finance suggested lowering this threshold to 150 euros, but as a result of the discussion in the government of the Russian Federation, this value is likely to be higher. Thus, the Ministry of Economic Development, which is entrusted with finalizing the proposals of the departments, considers it appropriate to establish a threshold at the level of 500 euros.
The threshold for duty-free import of goods in the countries of the Customs Union does not coincide. In Kazakhstan it is 1 thousand euros, in Belarus - 200 euros, reminded the executive director of AKIT Vitaly Zhigulin. Therefore, it is important to harmonize the legislation that sets standards for cross-border Internet commerce in all countries of the Customs Union. Otherwise, "unscrupulous market participants" will reorient the channels for the import of goods to the Russian Federation and Belarus through the territory of Kazakhstan.
AKIT stands for the simultaneous introduction of a single standard for duty-free import of 150 euros in all countries of the Customs Union.