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21 May, 2024 08:59

Russia’s richest woman backs tax increases

E-commerce billionaire Tatyana Bakalchuk believes a new progressive system would stimulate healthy competition
Russia’s richest woman backs tax increases

Increasing taxes for big businesses in Russia will help smaller companies to compete, Tatyana Bakalchuk, the CEO of national e-commerce giant Wildberries, has said.   

A new progressive tax scale being mulled by Russian lawmakers would promote the development of small- and medium-sized businesses, Bakalchuk argued on Monday at a meeting of the State Duma Committee on Budget and Taxes.

“We believe that the progressive tax scale that will now be considered by the State Duma is a very good [proposal]… We have finally approached this task, we will be very happy if we are potentially involved in this,” Bakalchuk added, stressing that Wildberries is among the country’s biggest taxpayers.

The businesswoman also called for transparent business activities, arguing that taxes should correspond to the scale of a company’s activities. The entrepreneur expressed confidence that a progressive scale would allow the Russian government to solve a number of economic and social problems.

A former English teacher and a mother of seven, Bakalchuk launched her e-commerce business in 2004. Her fortune amounts to $7.4 billion, according to Forbes, which ranks the Wildberries CEO as the richest woman in Russia.

In April, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov announced plans for public discussion on proposals to update the tax system. He highlighted that any improvements would be based on a more equitable distribution of the tax burden. The minister also specified that changes would target those with higher personal or corporate incomes, while pledging to close tax loopholes.

In 2024, Russia introduced a windfall tax on any businesses whose profits in 2021-2022 exceeded 1 billion rubles ($10.5 million), charging 10% on any excess profits earned during that period. Companies established after 2020 and energy sector firms are exempt from the payment.