This is a very short post about an idea I had a long time ago. Personally, I see great potential in it. Especially when you consider that the Bank of Russia is going to introduce the crypto-rouble. The idea is that the government could replace taxes with interest on money transfers, just like in all payment systems.
Note : I will probably be mixing up both horses and people here, but I don’t have access to all of the figures related to tax collection. For example, I was able to find personal income tax collections, but couldn’t find how many people paid personal income taxes in doing so.
Originally, the idea came up when I started using PayPal. Its main difference from other payment systems is that the fee is paid by the recipient of the payment, not the sender. It’s very similar to the system when a person pays taxes: received money, gave part of it to support the state. If the government controls its payment system, it can charge for the service simply by using that service. Any money transfer is subject to a fee. You get your paycheck, you pay a transfer fee. Bought something in a store – that store paid a fee for the incoming transfer.
To have some point of reference, I took 2020 personal income tax collections Individuals paid 4.25 trillion rubles in personal income tax in 2020. The population of Russia is, roughly speaking, 146 million people (note: a spherical horse in a vacuum, because the entire population is taken into account, rather than the number of people who receive money and pay taxes). That is, these 146 million people received a total income of 32.7 trillion rubles and paid 13% tax on them. If we assume that the Russian Federation charges a 13% transfer fee instead of taxes, then it is enough that each of these 146 million people received somewhere around 224 thousand rubles per year, or 18, 700 rubles per month, to provide comparable amounts of fees.
I think if it is a worthwhile idea, Habr is the best place to voice it, because there is a very large audience here, including those related to government agencies. It would be great to hear your opinions, especially if they don’t involve criticism of the government and related flaming, but relate to the pros and cons of this particular and narrowly defined idea.
Judging by the section Statistics “4. Structure of money transfers made through the payment system of the Bank of Russia” in 2020, the turnover of the national payment system was 1.66 quadrillion rubles. Revenues for all budgets in 2020 – 39.4 trillion rubles. If the government set a commission of 2.3% of transfers and would not do anything else (would not withhold any taxes at all, would not sell anything and would not take any fines), then it would earn the same amount even at the current level of use of the national payment system, which many consider low.