The Ministry of Finance estimated budget losses from wages in “envelopes” to 1.5 trillion rubles.

Losses of budgets of different levels of payments of salaries in envelopes without payment of insurance contributions is estimated at 1.5 trillion rubles. it is reported by RNS, citing a source familiar with the estimates of the Ministry of Finance.

The interviewee said that these figures were cited at the last Thursday meeting, where they discussed options tax maneuver. According to the source, among the options that have been discussed — the reduced insurance contributions from 30% to 21% or 22% and a parallel increase in the VAT rate to 21% or 22% respectively.

Explaining the Ministry’s position, the source explained that “relatively high for employers, the tax burden on labor provides an advantage to the informal employment sector”. In turn, the Finance Ministry believes that the options proposed tax maneuver reduces the load on the “white” of the enterprise and increase it for “employers-evaders”.

According to the Ministry, since 2010 the number of people employed in the formal non-budget sector decreased by 1.6 million (5% of the total). According to the Ministry of Finance, as a whole in Russia the volume of salaries “in envelopes” is about 5 trillion rubles From this sum the budgets of different levels receive less in the form of insurance contributions of 1.5 trillion rubles, said the source.

Request RNS to the Ministry of Finance for comments remained unanswered.

A recent poll conducted by the Russian centre for public opinion studies (VTSIOM), showed that the majority of Russians (over 70%), according to data by the end of 2016, received a salary in the official Gazette. Every tenth admitted that he was paid solely in cash, 13% of the population stated that part of the income they were paid officially and the rest “black cash”.