Russians discuss the law to tax unemployed citizensRussian authorities are going to impose special taxes on unemployed citizens. It seems the majority of the population does not support the new initiative and considers it one more way to squeeze money from ordinary people.

Russia plans to tax unemployed citizens

The idea of taxing able-bodied people who don’t pay the income tax and at the same time aren’t applying for unemployment benefits is not new. It has already been implemented in Belarus, for example.

The deputy prime minister for social affairs of the Russian Federation Olga Golodets confirmed that the government is serious about introducing a similar bill.

It means that soon unemployed Russians will have to pay a special tax for the right to access healthcare and other social services. We reported about Russian government’s plans to tax the unemployed before.

Golodets notes that “Russian legislation allows people not to work but they [people] do not pay any social premiums including the mandatory health insurance.”

In February the minister of labor Maxim Topilin said that there are 15 million of Russian women and men who work illegally and do not pay any contributions or income tax. Thus, the country’s budget misses out on around 500 billion rubles, reports.

But what do regular Russian citizens think?


Olga, 43 years old, manager:

“I regularly lose jobs [..] I have to spend from 6 months to a year looking for a new job. It’s a very tough time both morally and financially. It will be a nightmare to pay additional taxes from my poor savings during that time. It takes too much time to register in the unemployment office. It’s better to use this time to find a new job.”

Michail V., 22 years old:

“I’ve been looking for a job for six months already. I am a young specialist without any experience and no one needs me! Do I have to pay the taxes for that?! ”

Lyudmila Nikolaevna, accountant, 52 years old:

“It’s the right decision, I think. Why do those who do not work, go to the clinic for free and then receive a pension? Why are their children studying in schools for free? If they do not work, it means they have money! So let him pay then! ”

Natalia, 54 years old, head of a department in a construction company:

“Here we are! The authorities cannot find where to find more money! The next step will be the tax on childlessness, you’ll see!  The government takes from the Soviet past only what is profitable for them. Yes, there was a concept of social parasitism [in the Soviet past], but almost everybody was provided a job! It is better to cut the income of the officials. ”

Svetlana Andreeva, retired, 79 years old:

“My daughter has two children who are 15 and 11 years old. She has a weak health and her children constantly get sick. She has to look after them and cannot combine it with work. Her husband earns very little, they hardly make the ends meet. Since then, will they have to pay the tax for their miserable life? They’re not disabled and nobody will exempt them from taxes.”

People’s opinion

The new bill concerning taxation of the unemployed is not popular among Russians.

Andrey, 32 years old, journalist:

“What is the basis for such a tax? According to the constitution, we only have the right to work, we’re not obliged to! ”

Sergey, 50 years old, businessman:

“I am what is called self-employed and do not pay taxes. The government considers that I do not work. But I do not need any clinics or hospitals. I do not go there and do not use any other social services. And I do not need a pension—just give me the chance to refuse it and leave me alone! I do not demand anything from anybody, and do not want to give anything to anybody! ”

The well-known economist Yevgeny Gontmakher said to that the new law seemed to be very dubious both from the financial and social side. It’s unclear how the truly unemployed are going to pay the new tax. As he thinks, the bill will not make people to disclose their earnings—they will just find new schemes to hide them, for example, by registering as employed in a fictitious job.


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That’s just wrong.

Yes it may seem like that at first glance, but there is a deeper issue. Russia (and the other former soviet countries) have a huge “hidden” (cash) economy, where many are working or running businesses and making and income (sometimes a fortune) “off the books”. These people are not paying any income tax, regardless of their income, and so are not contributing to the provision of services and infrastructure that these taxes go to provide, yet can still get the benefit of them. This is unfair, and also places a greater burden on law abiding citizens whom are paying their… Read more »

Unemployed citizens are a real problem to any country. Of you are working somewhere you have to pay taxes. And if you are not working – welcome to an Employment Agency. If other – where from you get money to buy food and clothes? If something illegal – welcome to the court. If this will work for the whole nation, then everything will be ok.


They should start to create new jobs, rather than impose a tax on the unemployed, anyway, it is outrageous


I consider the tax in question as not very just in relation to people who can’t find job. Sometimes it is a very hard matter, especially in small towns. In case you can’t find a job you will have to explain to tax authorities that it is not because you don’t want to work but it’s because there is no work at all. It will be awful.


There is such a problem in every successful, upcoming country. Unemployed citizens create a burden for economy. They use public services, often free of charge, but do not invest anything in exchequer. The main point is to reveal those, who are unemployed for real and don’t have any income. But how this should be made? That’s the question!

Opinions about the situations differ. Employed people usually take it normal when unemployed protest. I live in Belarus where the tax exists. And I would rather say yes to it. Some people say “we do not use the social services”. But what exactly do they mean? Using busses, trams, clean streets, even using trash bins in the street, good roads (we really have them in Belarus)… Don’t they use these as well? There are hundreds more that can be named. Usually we just do not notice what in done for us. I don’t think these people live as hermits in… Read more »

On one hand this is a good idea because there are a lot of unemployed people in our country that don’t want to work. They spend their time drinking alcohol and committing crimes. But on the other hand there are citizens that cannot find any work for a long time. This special tax will be a huge problem for them!

I’d like to say that if this tax is really the tax for parasitism and unemployed people should pay it, then I wonder where they will take money to pay it. Before introducing this tax the deputies should think about it. Though I think that this tax is intended not for unemployed people but ones who work informally or engaged in business and are not registered as an individual entrepreneur, because the state loses money because of such entrepreneurs. It is my own opinion. And one more thing I’d like to say is that it would be more prudent not… Read more »