Russian Language Blog

Tax Time Posted by on Apr 9, 2012 in language

What’s on your mind, уважаемые читатели (dear readers)? If you live in the US, then you probably have two problems to tackle this week. One is what to do with all the empty plastic eggs from the Easter egg hunts. The other one is, of course, налоги (taxes).

Have you heard this Russian expression – от сумы и от тюрьмы не зарекайся (do not swear off either poverty or jail)? It means, of course, that we don’t know что день грядущий нам готовит (what tomorrow has prepared for us).

At the same time, I bet you are familiar with Benjamin Franklin’s неизбежны только смерть и налоги (nothing is certain but death and taxes). What do you get when you combine these two great expressions together? Полный мрак и ужас (total doom and gloom), that’s what!

I usually тяну до последнего (wait until the last second) to file my налоговая декларация (tax return). But it’s not because paying подоходный налог (income tax) is so painful (I usually set enough money aside through the year for this). No, the real геморрой (lit: hemorrhoids; slang: pain in the rear) is the complicated налоговое законодательство (tax law).

Personally, I find it next to impossible to make it through all the налоговые документы the worksheets without feeling like мозги плавятся (my brain is melting). For me, trying to figure out all the налоговые вычеты (tax credits) and налоговые скидки (tax deductions) is the point when я сдаюсь (I give up), посылаю всё к чёрту (tell it all to go to hell) and ring my дипломированный бухгалтер (certified public accountant).

I figure that paying for профессиональная помощь в подготовке налоговой декларации (professional help in preparing a tax return) is worth the money especially since нервные клетки не восстанавливаются (nerve cells do not regenerate). Besides, don’t they say кесарю кесарево (render onto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s)?

So while my accountant is корпит над налоговыми формами (plods away at the tax forms), I have a chance to see what taxes would I pay if I lived in Russia. Turns out, Russia’s Федеральная налоговая служба (Federal Tax Service) has a pretty helpful website. They actually have a very nice English-language site as well where all the taxes – федеральные (federal), региональные (regional) and муниципальные (municipal) are listed and explained.

Interestingly, the way Russian government keeps track of its налогоплательщики (tax payers) is by requiring them встать на учёт по месту жительства (to register domiciliary, according to where they reside) at местные налоговые органы (local tax authorities). So if you move, even in the same city, you have extra paperwork to complete. And that sounds like a pain.

Ok, stop reading this post. It’s time to закончить заполнять документы (finish filling out paperwork). I’m ставлю свечку (keeping my fingers crossed) that this year’s tax return не пустит нас по миру (drain us dry) or вызовет аудиторскую проверку (triggers a tax audit). Чего и вам желаю! (And wishing you the same!)

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  1. Sarahjane:

    Thanks, a lot of interesting expressions. Loving the кесарю кесарево bit especially. Dying to use it but doubt the correct set of circumstances will present itself any time soon.

  2. Delia:

    A lot of interesting and useful expressions! Лена молодец!!!

  3. nids:

    thank you ! all blogs that you write are always awesome for me ! they are great help to me !

  4. Minority:

    Actually, most of Russian people do not care about taxes ’cause most of them are payed by their employer, and you recieve letters from ФМС about taxes for your properties 🙂

    Though I think we may lose some налоговый вычет because of this)

    • yelena:

      @Minority Well, it’s sort of the same here – the employer takes care of the taxes. But even with that, there are so many different (and ever-changing) credits and deductions that filling a declaration is a major undertaking.

  5. Minority:

    pardon, I meant ФНС (Федеральная Налоговая Служба), not ФМС (Федеральная Миграционная Служба).