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 Wednesday, February 21 2024 14:40
Alina Hovhannisyan

Yerevan-Martuni highway closed: Gegharkunik residents demand to  cancel SRC decision on taxing labor migrants

Yerevan-Martuni highway closed: Gegharkunik residents demand to  cancel SRC decision on taxing labor migrants

ArmInfo. The  labor migrants from Gegharkunik closed the Yerevan-Martuni highway, demanding to cancel the decision of the State Revenue Committee (SRC) on additional taxation of labor migrants who went to Russia for  seasonal work .

 It is noteworthy that the latter received notifications from the State Revenue Committee about additional tax  obligations in Armenia (since 2022) and penalties, without warning citizens about such innovations in advance. The labor migrants paid taxes in Russia, having employment contracts with employers, in the  amount of 13%, while in Armenia the income tax is 20%. The State  Revenue Committee now requires labor migrants who have stayed in the  Russian Federation for less than 183 days to pay the difference of 7%  in Armenia, plus imposing a fine for non-payment of 0.4% for each  day.  "We demand justice! The problem is becoming global. The voice  of the people is not heard," complained one of the protesters. He  noted that only 2-3% of labor migrants who earn their living through  hard work in Russia are gathered here.

Gegharkunik labor migrants wondered how the SRC can start taxation  from 2022, when they announced their innovations just a few days ago,  sending notifications of tax debt and fines for non-payment. "There  is no logic in this decision," said a resident of the region.

It is noteworthy that the tax authorities and the migration service,  where labor migrants applied, were unable to answer the question of  who and when adopted this law. "I showed the document about the tax  debt to the lawyer, he said that there was neither a specific legal  solution nor logic. So, who wrote this law?" asked one of the  protesters.

Citizens leaving to work stated that the Republic of Armenia does not  provide them with work, medical insurance, or a place of residence in  Russia during seasonal work, but it does impose taxes. And this is  against the backdrop of the fact that, due to the depreciation of the  ruble, their earnings have decreased significantly.  "The remaining  pennies with which we return home to support our children, raise a  future soldier, and a future mother should be used to pay a fine? The  authorities do not care about the regions at all, do not provide  jobs, either in industry or in agriculture. The only income is  seasonal work in Russia," noted residents of Gegharkunik.

Governor of Gegharkunik region Karen Sargsyan met with the  protesters. In response to all his arguments and explanations,  citizens demanded that the latter protect, first of all, the  interests of the residents of the region, and not refer to the law  for the EAEU member countries. Sargsyan said that discussions are  currently underway in the State Revenue Committee on the adopted law,  asking residents to wait for the results.

Days earlier, Tatevik Bezhanyan, Expert of the Migration Program of  Armenian Caritas, raised this issue during a press conference,  emphasizing that it is advisable to introduce such innovations only  after the State Revenue Committee has carried out a large-scale  information campaign to inform labor migrants about the additional  tax obligations that they may have upon returning to Armenia.  Referring to the RA law, Bezhanyan said that labor migrants will not  be burdened with tax obligations if they stay outside Armenia working  for 183 days or more, that is, they are not tax residents of the  country.  According to data for 2022, the number of labor migrants  from Armenia who have an employment or civil contract in the Russian  Federation exceeds 130 thousand people. Thousands of them received  letters from the State Revenue Committee stating that they have tax  debt in the amount of 100 thousand to 1 million drams. The total  amount of this debt so far is about 187 million drams. 

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