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Rethinking of Inheritance Taxation in Russia

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This article analyses theoretical and practical implications of inheritance tax as the most debatable tax from legal and ethical viewpoints. Some countries have refused taxing inheritance. Others have applied inheritance taxation from national to local levels. The majority of developed countries tax wealth transfers. The primary purpose of inheritance taxation is the allocation of wealth within society and the mitigation of social inequality. Currently, Russia has neither an inheritance tax, nor any other wealth or wealth transfer taxes. This indicates an unfair tax system. The study is based on the analysis of the history of inheritance taxation in Russia and abroad, and the contemporary legal framework and practices in foreign countries. The authors highlight current advantages and disadvantages of inheritance taxation, the functions of the tax, and state considerations related to the potential design of inheritance tax in Russia. The main conclusion is that inheritance tax should be imposed in Russia as a social-oriented mechanism and levied on only the top-wealth societal cluster.

About the Authors

Elena Ryabova
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation

Associate Professor, Higher School of State Audit (Faculty)

1, Bldg. 13-14 Leninskiye Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russia

Evgeniya Ivanushchenko
National Research University Higher School of Economics
Russian Federation


3 Bolshoy Trekhsvyatitelskiy pereulok, Moscow, 109028, Russia


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For citation:

Ryabova E., Ivanushchenko E. Rethinking of Inheritance Taxation in Russia. Russian Law Journal. 2021;9(1):34-57.

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ISSN 2309-8678 (Print)
ISSN 2312-3605 (Online)