Rustam Minnikhanov: 'We know where the cheaters are. Where the salary is less than the minimum wage'
The president supported the preferential treatment of industrial parks in rural areas, threatened to suspend state support for tax debtors and allowed the sale of long-delayed construction projects
The treasury of Tatarstan is gradually getting out of the “pandemic” financial pit. For the first time since the introduction of coronavirus restrictions, Tatarstan tax authorities have announced a 15,5% increase in levies. By the results of the first quarter, 212 billion rubles of taxes were collected by all levels of budgets, which is by 28,5 billion rubles more than the same period last year, the head of the Federal Tax Service of Russia for Tatarstan, Marat Safiullin, said at a meeting of the financial headquarters of the Republic of Tatarstan on 16 April. Nevertheless, they also remembered the “frozen” reserves that can replenish the treasury. The president of Tatarstan proposed to “sell everything that is no longer needed” from the objects of unfinished construction (the audit revealed those worth 32,7 billion rubles) and begin to “expand” the tax debt of 9 billion rubles, threatening debtor enterprises to suspend state support.
Under supervision of Moscow tax authorities
The first results of the implementation of the consolidated budget after the “pandemic” 2020 year were announced at the joint meeting of the financial, tax and treasury authorities of the republic on 16 April. As usual, it was held by President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, who during the meeting repeatedly checked with the information of Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Nigmatullin. It is interesting that for the first time a large team from the Federal Tax Service of Russia has come to hear the Tatarstan quarterly report. Just a few months ago, the federal tax authorities came to the December board meeting as part of the delegation of Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov, and, apparently, decided to continue monitoring tax collection in Tatarstan. This time, the meeting was attended by Deputy Head of the Federal Tax Service of Russia Viktor Batsiev, Head of the interregional inspection of the Federal Tax Service of Russia for the Volga Federal District Anton Zakamsky and others.
Opening the meeting, Rustam Minnikhanov did not beat the drum for the growth of tax collections, but, on the contrary, modestly noted that the negative trends of the past year were making themselves felt. In confirmation, he cited not the best indicators of the “pulse” of the industry. According to him, the industrial production index was 97,7%, and the retail trade turnover decreased by 0,3%.
“In these conditions, we managed to implement the budget of the republic in terms of revenues and expenditures in the planned volumes. We have made all socially significant expenses in a timely manner, including the payment of salaries and social benefits. In general, the consolidated budget's own revenues for the first quarter amounted to 65,5 billion rubles," said Minnikhanov.
By the way, they collected 11,9 billion rubles, or by 22% more than in the same period last year, which was reflected later on the slides of the ministry of finance of the Republic of Tatarstan. Speaking about national projects, the president of Tatarstan said that 30,7 billion rubles were to be allocated for their implementation in the republic. Of these, 8,2 billion are from the republic's budget, and the rest is from the federal budget.
How to “liquidate” 9 billion rubles of arrears
The opening speech was not without topical issues. From the first minutes, the president spoke about the tax arrears of enterprises, which reached 9 billion rubles.
“It is necessary to continue working on the reserves. An important reserve is working with tax arrears. The amount is quite high — 9 billion rubles," he emphasised the attention of the industry ministers.
Under pressure from the tax authorities, it has decreased by 758 million rubles since the beginning of the year, but it is still worrying, the president noted. Significant debts are incurred by the enterprises supervised by the ministry of industry and trade (1,8 billion rubles), ministry of construction (1,4 billion rubles), ministry of transport of Tatarstan (0,5 billion rubles), and ministry of agriculture of Tatarstan (0,5 billion rubles).
“Ministries and departments need to have information about their debt," said Minnikhanov. “And if there is one, then we should suspend all our support measures," he called for drastic measures against debtors.
Besides, individuals who have a tax debt may also lose state support. State and municipal authorities are connected to the corresponding information resource, so they have the opportunity to print out payment documents for paying the debtor's taxes when receiving public services.
57% provided by petrochemical complex
After that, the head of the Federal Tax Service for Tatarstan, Marat Safiullin, moved to the report. According to him, tax collections in the first quarter of 2021 increased by 15,5% — to 212 billion rubles.
“Payments increased in the first quarter to the corresponding period of last year by 28,5 billion rubles, including to the consolidated budget of the republic by 14,7 billion rubles. The largest increase was in the income tax and the mineral extraction tax, which confirms the positive impact on the tax sphere of the recovery processes in the economy and the improvement in the price environment for strategic goods for the republic," he said.
According to the slides for the speech, tax revenues to the consolidated budget of Tatarstan have increased by 28,4%, to 66,6 billion rubles. Tax revenues to the federal budget have increased by 10,5% to 145,4 billion rubles.
According to Marat Safiullin, the largest increase in tax revenues has been provided by the organisations of the petrochemical complex — it accounted for 57% of all revenues In the first quarter of this year, revenues from mining increased by almost 10% — to 114,9 billion rubles. The production of petroleum products showed a twofold increase in tax revenues — up to 9,5 billion rubles.
But to be objective, there are still losses compared to the “pre-coronavirus” 2019 year. The slides showed that the largest taxpayers — Tatneft, Kazan Helicopters, Nizhnekamskshina, divisions of Gazprom, LUKOIL — still reduced their income tax deductions. The collection of this tax fell by almost 40%.
Later, in his closing speech, Rustam Minnikhanov said that about 27% of enterprises operated at a loss in January-February. Besides, the monitoring of the ministry of finance in the first quarter showed that 556 enterprises reduced their income tax payments by 10,5 billion rubles.
“We know where the 'cheaters' are”
Minister of Finance of the Republic of Tatarstan Radik Gayzatullin expressed concern about the lagging growth rates of personal income tax collections. According to the results of the first quarter, the consolidated budget of the republic received 19,2 billion rubles.
“I would like to draw your attention to that the average growth rate in the Volga Federal District is 101,1%, in Russia — 103,5%. I also note that the growth rate of personal income tax in the first quarter of this year is lower than the growth rate for the previous two years," he said.
At the same time, there was an increase in tax arrears. As of 1 March 2021, it is 582,6 million rubles. In other words, exactly the same amount of wages have not been paid.
“There is a shadow segment here," the president agreed. “We know where the cheaters are. Where the salary is less than the minimum wage," said Rustam Minnikhanov.
According to the Federal Tax Service and the Ministry of Labour of the Republic of Tatarstan, in 2020, there were 166 such organisations in Kazan, 114 — in Zelenodolsk district, 88 — in Buinsky district, 76 — in Naberezhnye Chelny, and 72 — in Nizhnekamsk.
“All that is no longer needed — to sell!”
The head of the ministry of finance of Tatarstan also spoke in favour of getting rid of long-delayed constructions. According to the slides, the objects of unfinished construction are at 32,7 billion rubles.
“The analysis showed that they include objects with construction start dates of more than three years. In total, their number in the republic is 287, with the volume of financial investments of 10,8 billion rubles," said Radik Gayzatullin.
“Everything that is no longer needed should be sold," the president suggested. “We need to identify the objects that are over three years old. There are objects that may need to be written off. We need to end this. This is the 'legacy' that we started then and underfunded. Today, we do not have such distortions. We need to work on the 'legacy'.” According to the slides, most of these objects have accumulated on the balance sheet of the ministry of construction of the Republic of Tatarstan (GISU).
In his closing remarks, the president spoke about the need to support investment activity. He said that the decision has been made to provide tax preferences for the residents and management companies of industrial parks (with a occupancy rate of less than 70%, the property tax and transport tax are reset, and the rate under simplified taxation is reduced for a period of 10 years).
“Not everyone develops in the same way, so we need a 'carrot' to save jobs in rural areas," the president of the Republic of Tatarstan explained.