Plans to adjust taxation of small businesses, self-employed workers in Belarus
MINSK, 9 September (BelTA) – A new breakdown of the small business sector has been worked out in Belarus. Belarusian Economy Minister Aleksandr Chervyakov mentioned it during a meeting of Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko and top officials of the Council of Ministers, BelTA has learned.
During the government conference Economy Minister Aleksandr Chervyakov noted that a bill had been drafted with a view to improving entrepreneurship activities. Its goal is to increase the contribution of citizens to the financing of state expenses by means of introducing simple terms and stimuli for organization and upscaling of one’s business.
The bill suggests a new breakdown of the small business sector. It will include three categories: self-employed individuals, self-employed businesspersons, and legal persons (micro and small enterprises). The self-employed individuals will refer to people, who pursue professional activities on their own (tailors, translators, babysitters, tutors, and so on), craftsmen, and owners of farm stays.
Aleksandr Chervyakov said: “These categories are not registered as entrepreneurial business today. But these citizens represent 15% of the micro business sector. We are talking about 100,000 people. Self-employed individuals can pursue any kinds of activities except for forbidden ones, those will be specified by the government. The forbidden activities will include retail, transportation services, automobile maintenance and repairs, selling of goods subject to excise tax and goods subject to marking, licensable activities, and intermediary services.”
The government also intends to create a system of economic and administrative stimuli to encourage self-employed businessmen to become legal persons. The economy minister noted the government will not use a harsh scenario but an evolutionary approach. It will help avoid risks (the transition of micro businesses into the shadow economy, the unemployment problem, and rise in social tensions).
“As for economic stimuli. Self-employed businesspersons will not be allowed to use the simplified taxation system starting 2023. Income tax will be used as the main tax regime, with the income tax rate rising from 16% to 20%. The rate will be raised to 25% in 2024. We intend to reduce the list of activities eligible for the harmonized tax and raise the tax rate by 1.5-3 times. Meanwhile, micro organizations will still be able to use the simplified taxation system: 6% of the earnings,” the official said.
Self-employed individuals will have to pay an income tax as large as 10% of the earnings. The tax includes contributions to the social security fund. The same tax will be paid by owners of farm stays. Craftsmen will be able to choose between the income tax on professional activities or a craftsman’s levy of two base amounts per annum (Br62 at present).