Shops and manufacturers will be able to donate products to charity tax-free, but not more than one per cent of their turnover. The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economic Development have agreed on the need to introduce relevant changes to the Tax Code and the bill itself may be submitted to the State Duma this year. The chairman of the State Duma Committee on Youth Policy, a member of the United Russia party, told this to Parlamentskaya Gazeta.Artyom Metelev
“Today we held a meeting with colleagues from the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economic Development at the party’s platform to already fix a common position and the need for not just an idea, but a specific bill, amendments to the Tax Code. We agreed with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economic Development at a meeting in the party that such a law is needed. We will now submit it to the Coordinating Council and I hope it will be submitted to the State Duma by the end of the year,” the MP said.
Every year, he said, shops and producers dump 17 million tonnes of food into landfills and dumps, where food releases an estimated 2.5 million tonnes of ammonia, carbon dioxide and methane. At the same time, 13 per cent of Russia’s population lives on less than a living wage, and they may need these products.
And it is more profitable for a business, which still has foodstuffs, to destroy them than to give them to charity organisations, because for the written-off goods it can get back 20 per cent of VAT – for example, if the goods cost 100 rubles, it is possible to get 20 rubles back, said the deputy. “And when he transfers the goods to charities, he has to pay. That is, he wants to do a good deed, and for the good deed he has to pay another 20 percent of the cost of goods, although he did not earn any money,” said Metelev.
Shops and restaurants proposed to be given incentives for mealsharing
According to him, MPs have been working on the initiative for a long time and have worked on an updated version of the bill. “We want to amend two articles of the Tax Code – 170 and 171 – and make it so that businesses can transfer tax-free goods within one per cent of turnover,” the committee head said.
According to him, the list of goods that can be transferred without taxation will be approved by the Economic Development Ministry. “These will not be excisable goods – not luxury goods, cigarettes or alcohol – but necessary items,” the MP said. The MP stressed that we are not talking about expired products. These can be goods with expired shelf life, of a non-commodity type, and so on.
Lawmakers and industry representatives estimate that if 10 per cent of discarded products were donated to charity, 5 kilogrammes of food could be given to all those in need every month.
The next issue, according to Artem Metelev, will be the creation of special infrastructure in the regions – food banks, non-profit organisations that will deal with this topic. Deputies are working in this direction with regional authorities.