A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5,000 people working in Russia and abroad.

The Foundation works alongside various UN departments and other international organizations, and is building multi-format cooperation with 173 economic partners, including industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions, financial, trade, and business associations from 78 countries worldwide, and 188 Russian public organizations, federal and legislative agencies, and federal subjects.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian t.me/Roscongress, English – t.me/RoscongressDirect, and Spanish t.me/RoscongressEsp. Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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The Self-Employed: New Labour Market Opportunities
8 September 2022
14:00—15:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Business is trusting the self-employed more

I think this is a trend that has increasingly positive specifics. Now I’m not talking about the big goals that were incorporated into this ideology of bringing a huge number of professionals who provide quality services into the ‘white’ economic and legal field. This is all directly related to the quality of life, no matter how grandiose it may sound. Because the economy is still based on small as well as medium [business], but at the moment we are talking about small business. And the self-employed, they are representatives of this category [...] This sector will be trending upwards — Yulia Mihaleva, Deputy Director, Russian Quality System (Roskachestvo).

Initially, organizations were cautious about working with the self-employed, but now there has also been some certain growth, and the self-employed already receive 61% of all income from organizations and individual entrepreneurs. And more than 600,000 organizations and entrepreneurs have already used the services of the self-employed — Dmitry Akunov, Deputy Head of Operational Control Department, Federal Tax Service of Russia.

Self-employed young adults are the most active

Among young people, the older generation is the most active in terms of the amount of taxes paid, i.e., 25–29 years old – 750,000, which is RUB 10 billion, and 30–35 [years old] – 1.14 million people, which is RUB 10 billion. So it’s clear that young people occupy a rather small layer in this. Of course, increasing this number is the agency’s main objective now — Aleksandr Vaino, Head of Youth Initiatives Center, Agency of Strategic Initiatives (ASI).

ISSUES
Self-employed minors remain in the shadow economy

There is an app called My Tax where you can register. Of course, a self-employed person aged 14–17, a minor, cannot register there because there is no parental consent. But, nevertheless, we have young people who pay taxes as self-employed basically in violation of the law. It’s important to note and understand that what we have supported is indeed that we now have self-employed minors. Of course, in terms of the amount of taxes, they will pay less than RUB 40 million this year, but, nevertheless, it’s something to work on [...] I think by the end of next year we will solve this problem, and our self-employed minors will be able to become legal — Aleksandr Vaino, Head of Youth Initiatives Center, Agency of Strategic Initiatives (ASI).

Self-employment is often used as a tool to avoid taxes

Sometimes the self-employed are used more as a mechanism to circumvent additional taxation. We also really need to work on this — Aleksandr Vaino, Head of Youth Initiatives Center, Agency of Strategic Initiatives (ASI).

There is a plus. You have all the ‘white’ space, but then your accounting department starts chasing after this entire army of freelancers and ringing up checks from them because you have unconfirmed supporting documents [...] But now Sberbank has a service. They closed the loop and allowed the payer to receive checks without forcing the contractor to send it to you. So now we are actively sending everyone to Sberbank and insisting on this because this is how we control supporting documents, and this is a tough noose that you can’t get out of — Nikolay Fomin, Co-founder, D5 Engineering.

SOLUTIONS
Non-residents need to be added to the register of self-employed

We believe the number of countries where non-residents can become self-employed needs to be increased. At least four countries need to be added. Particularly recent examples, when this issue was generally resolved in one day by adding residents of the [Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics] to this category. I think this would be the next great step to increasing the number of self-employed in the country — Alexey Shashkin, Director of Small and Microbusiness Division, Sberbank.

We suggest expanding the self-employed regime to citizens of the CIS. Of course, the decision on this will be made at the federal level — Nikolay Stetsko, Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Primorsky Krai.

The annual income of the self-employed needs to be increased

[In terms of] the annual amount […] I think there has at least been some inflation and a change in prices over five years. And now a simple story – if a young IT specialist has become self-employed, then in principle from July they shouldn’t process any checks because they will exceed the limit, and for now they are afraid of becoming or don’t want to become individual entrepreneurs. The same goes for apartment designers, and so on. If these people live in Moscow, then in April, for example, they will stop processing checks. I think this decision needs to be made eventually, perhaps in relation to certain industries or the employment of people — Alexey Shashkin, Director of Small and Microbusiness Division, Sberbank.

We firmly believe that this income threshold for the self-employed needs to be indexed, preferably annually. Additional types of business could be included. People also talk about this a lot, in particular, about the rental of real estate, apartments, garages, and parking spaces. And it’s essential, of course, to increase the availability of bank lending for the self-employed. In this regard, perhaps, together with the Ministry of Economic Development, it would be worthwhile to work out a programme of state support for bank lending — Nikolay Stetsko, Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Primorsky Krai.

The process of registering as self-employed needs to be simplified

Based on our initiative, with the support of the State Duma Committee on Agrarian Issues, and, of course, the Russian Ministry of Agriculture, an amendment was introduced that would correct this nuance, which is not very fair at the moment [...] This amendment concerns the opportunity for individuals who do not have the status of an individual entrepreneur to provide data and thus be included in the same register of organic products — Yulia Mihaleva, Deputy Director, Russian Quality System (Roskachestvo).

We believe the procedure used to control when an organization works with non-residents and transfers money to them needs to be simplified. After that, there is a procedure that is similar to flying into space, in a nutshell. Because it is inconvenient and lengthy, and for this reason we believe a lot of non-residents remain in the shadows. In our opinion, it would be possible to simplify this procedure and ultimately receive taxes — Alexey Shashkin, Director of Small and Microbusiness Division, Sberbank.