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Russia's President Putin announces post-coronavirus tax hike for high earners

Russia's President Vladimir Putin delivers a televised address to the nation in Moscow, Russia June 23, 2020.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin delivers a televised address to the nation in Moscow, Russia June 23, 2020. via REUTERS - SPUTNIK

President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Russia will from next year increase taxes on high earners, the first hike in decades, as he laid out measures to tackle the economic fallout of the coronavirus.

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Putin said that from January 1, 2021 the tax rate will rise from 13 percent to 15 percent on income over five million rubles ($73,000), in Russia's first move away from a flat tax rate introduced in 2001.

Addressing Russians in a lengthy televised speech, Putin said the country is facing huge economic challenges after the coronavirus epidemic and associated restrictions on business.

"Since 2001 we have had a flat tax. Its introduction at the time allowed us to take incomes out of the shadows, to make taxation easier," he said.

"But now with a better quality of administration and the introduction of digital technologies, we can spread the tax burden in a differential way and direct the additional funds towards solving specific and important issues," he said.

The extra revenues would be used for "treating children with severe rare diseases," buying expensive medication and funding complicated surgeries, Putin said.

"The past months have been a time of massive challenges and difficult trials," he said, outlining other measures to boost Russia's economic recovery.

(AP)

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