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12.11.2010

Translators appalled by draft Tax Code

   

Almost 80 freelance translators have signed a letter to Ukraine’s government. They fear that the new Tax Code will destroy their profession. Freelance journalists share their concerns.

Ihor Lukyanov, a freelance translator from Kharkiv has worked for 5 years according to the simplified system of tax declarations and paid 100 UAH monthly. He says that if he gets around 5 clients a year, that’s around 3 thousand profit per month. He has creative work, can provide for his family and doesn’t need complicated accountancy.

A lot of translators get most of their work from abroad.  The new Tax Code proposes to make these translators go over to a general system of taxation for “foreign economic activities”. According to Ihor Lukyanov, this would mean paying 50 percent of their pure profit, which is virtually 15 times more than now.

Translators engaged in such “foreign economic activities” would also suffer from another innovation. Attempting to fight abuse of the simplified taxation system by those who earn exclusively from transferring bank money into cash, payers of the single tax will be prohibited from receiving more than half their profit from one client.  Yet this will hit not only speculators, but many who provide services. Mr Lukyanov cites examples where a major translation may be his sole work for months on end, yet he is being treated like a speculator.  Economist Oleksandr Kirsh likens the policy to trying to get rid of dandruff by using a guillotine.  He says that overall the latest changes proposed are all for the worse.

Ihor Lukyanov sees no way out.  He will be forced to raise his fees which will mean that his clients find other translators in Russia, Belarus or Georgia.  Many others, working freelance, find themselves in a similar situation.

From a report at: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,6208253,00.html

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